The other day I was chatting with my dad about the new house he’s renovating. He suggested I go to a mattress store and pick out a brand I like that he can buy for “my” room that I stay in when I visit.
“Dad, that’s low on my priority list,” I told him. “I do some kind of therapy five days a week either for my knee or my head, I’m still working, and I’m still doing book stuff [podcasts, articles, interviews, etc.]. I don’t have time to look for a mattress. I’ll just trust your judgement.”
Up until very recently, I was rehabbing either my body or mind five days a week. It sounded like a lot when I said it out loud.
Seven months into 2021, I’ve finally accepted that it will not be the magical, wonderful year that washed away all the sorrow of 2020. At least the first half wasn’t.
Other than publishing a book, which is majorly awesome, 2021 has been such a crap year that I started seeing a therapist weekly, attended eating disorder group therapy sessions for eight weeks in the spring, and meet with a nutritionist each week for my previously untreated eating disorder. Also, until recently when my insurance company started cracking down on what they would deign to pay for, I was doing two physical therapy sessions per week for my knee. Still, every day I do work on my knee at home, as ACL reconstruction (plus a second scope surgery) is a very long recovery.
I’m spending a lot of time and money “fixing” me when in theory I could be spending my energy on other things.
One might initially see this period of my life as one of loss. I imagine many other people have been going through various kinds of periods of loss or at least living in limbo.
But what if we saw these down-for-maintenance times as that of rest and renewal?
Last year and into this year, I was pushing myself so hard that my body and eventually my brain gave out and screamed for help. The way I was living—or on some days, just surviving—wasn’t sustainable. It was punishing and miserable. I was a ticking time bomb ready to explode.
I’m learning during this “down” period to take self-care, moderation, and boundaries more seriously. I’ve had to re-re-re-prioritize things in my life.
I’m starting to get some big picture perspective on how I want to spend the latter half of this year and the latter half of my life as I venture further into my forties. There are some things I may need to let go and new things I may need to embrace.
I can’t go charging into the second half of 2021 much less the second half of my life with a broken body and broken mind.
I think spending this time and money on “fixing” myself is well-spent and much needed.