Yesterday was my massage day. I haven't had a massage in years, but Mr. L treated me for my birthday and I couldn't think of a better time to use it.
My job was pretty stressful most of the time - always number-crunching, always finding new leads, always have to be on top of your game. I basically didn't sleep on Sunday nights in anticipation of the upcoming week (and probably dreading 7am meetings every Monday). So when the massage therapist asked if there was anything in particular I wanted her to work on, I told her that I was sure I was carrying a lot of stress in my back. And boy was I right.
Did you know that in between your shoulder blades you can acquire the biggest knots ever? I didn't. It was painful, but the kind of pain you have to get through to get some relief.
As I walked home, feeling noodle-like and completely relaxed, I couldn't help but think that the tension she worked out of my back has probably been building for months. I know I haven't been taking care of my body like I should, especially in the last 8-9 weeks. Mr. L and I were good about workouts after the first of the year, but once March hit, things shifted and I became more focused on my stressful job. That means no yoga, no jogging, basically nothing except the occasional walk in the last couple of months.
I'm not here to blame my job for my knotted back. But I think I've realized that if a job, relationship, commute, overall schedule is a constant stressful situation, is it really worth it? Obviously you have to make time for yourself, whether it's a quiet moment in the morning while you drink your coffee, or hitting the gym for a yoga class a few days a week. But when other factors in your life don't let up for months at a time and end up distracting you from taking care of yourself, sometimes those other factors have to change so you can lead the life you want. My newly-acquired time off is the reminder I needed to realize that I'm in charge of the amount of stress I have in my life. And taking time for myself isn't a crime - in fact, doing things I enjoy should be a daily requirement.