Walking on egg shells

Funny thing that health. Nice to have, even to work for in the form of exercise and eating healthily, however we still take it for granted and act all surprised when it deteriorates.

I recently had a pause in my life brought about by severe back pains. They occurred initially over a week’s time, manifesting themselves when getting out of bed in the morning, or when moving after sitting still for a period. Then on the eve of a work trip the pains suddenly nailed me to my bed. Lower back muscles cramping irrationally I could no longer get up nor stand up, and had to send for emergency medication and eventually a doctor paid me a house call. It’s been two weeks since the beginning.

The “sounding board” around me tells me to quiet down. Having a small child and working 100%.. what’s up with that? – I hear people say. What’s up with NOT working? – I could retort, but never do, because I somehow feel that it is I who is wrong in all this. Although I shop healthy groceries, prepare healthy (and tasty!) meals to the whole family, do my yoga and walk a lot, bike when I can, work some, yes, but not over-time, I get this trouble with my super-healthy and happy body! And then I feel it was I who brought the break-down upon myself somehow. Why is that?

What makes it so hard to just believe in destiny, or luck, even God, something other than oneself, something other than total determinism..? I feel handicapped by being such a scientist! The Dutchies around me who enjoy their tele-commuting days and (in addition) 3-4-day work weeks seem to know better. But I tried it, didn’t I? A four-day work week just made me long after the office and equality more.. meaning I don’t stay at home if HE doesn’t, and besides, will rather devote my weekends and evenings to the baby, than be frustrated alone with her all day long when “everyone” else is working away. If not believing in anything else, perhaps trusting my intuition telling me to just go back to work was nevertheless the right thing to do. At the time.

So we break down physically every now and then. Or do we?? It seems my body and mind didn’t quite connect to send out the warning signs. Or even if the signals were there, I misinterpreted voluntarily or involuntarily. Then I suppose the only thing available is to slow down and re-examine the situation. Am I happy? Are my habits sustainable? Am I doing the best I can and making the most of it? Since my answer is ‘yes’ to these points, I still feel lucky to be alive, and ready to simply discover health(y lifestyle) again, and learn to appreciate it.  Such a cliché by the way..

I was away from the office for a whole week. I still walk on egg shells, trying to avoid twisting my back unnecessarily. Lucky I could work from home most of the time, but the work I’d prepared for the conference was sadly lost, for now at least. Now I need to remember to get out of my office chair every hour to rest my back on the floor on my yoga mat, and booked councelling to assess my working position, table and chair. What more can one do? Well, I opt for “lucky break”, try to not take work so seriously, or cleaning the house for that matter, enjoy every bit of yoga and walk in the park that I manage, and every meter of baby-carrying that I am able to do at home, which is not much. Lucky my little girl is almost walking already, and won’t need mommy carrying her around much longer!

An interesting article about Utility Maximization and Experienced Utility by Kahneman and Thaler (Journal of Economic Perspectives—Volume 20, Number 1—Winter 2006—Pages 221–234) states “Nothing in life matters quite as much as you think it does while you are thinking about it.”

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