We continue one of the two traditions that have developed her on my blog over the last couple of years. On Thanksgiving or there about in time, I post 5 things I am thankful for. The other tradition is posting Michael Buble’s Have Yourself a merry little Christmas. If you have seen any of the other lists you will notice a lot of similar things. Perhaps I should stop posting one every year 🙂
In no particular order:
My Family: I got to spend a most of Thanksgiving with all my immediate family. I spent time with my parents, my brothers and all the nieces and nephews. I had a blast as did everyone else. I always make resolutions with myself that I am going to spend more time with my family and I always fail to do so .
My Friends: I have a great group of friends who are there when I need them.
My Job: I am thankful that I have a job with a good boss and good coworkers. I am never to over stressed.
Modern Medicine: I am glad that all I had to do was take a pill for a few days and my back pain cleared up. This thankfulness also goes toward having good insurance because of my good job.
The Beauty of Nature: This follows on from my wonderful walk in the snow a week ago but I also just have a long history of appreciating the beauty of nature. Being in a place of natural beauty can be like meditation. It is both humbling and centering.
In our last installment, I was taking powerful pills to try and get my back back in shape. They worked like magic. Well mostly, I still experience a little bit of pain. I went off the meds on Monday. By that point the pain had largely subsided. I think I’ve figured out the way the medication helped. It released the tension in the muscles and stopped the spasms of pain that certain movements brought on. This allowed me to walk and move normally. This put everything back in the right position with the right movement. Before the pills I was hunched over shuffling around and sitting at odd angles to avoid the pain.
With my newly better back, the work week went by smoothly. On Thursday I had to help run an event in the auditorium, which is not my normal job. It was stressful in the beginning as we ran around trying to set things up and get things working. It ended up going to almost perfectly.
The most important event of the week happened Saturday. We got THE FIRST SNOW OF THE YEAR!!! I love snow. Not a huge fan of winter but I love snow.. go figure.
Sunday morning dawned nice and sunny. I had some garbage to throw out. I put on a hat on some gloves. It had been in the thirties on Saturday so how cold could it be Sunday morning? I walked outside and froze instantly. IT WAS FREEZING. I quickly tossed the garbage and ran back inside. I checked the weather and it claimed it was 12F out! It is way to early in winter to be that cold.
A rare Sunday post but it is a special circumstance. Yesterday we had the first snow of the season.
I know I have said how much I like Fall in the past, but my favorite thing is snow. Especially snow like we had yesterday. We got about three inches of snow and it was huge big flakes. The temperature hung around 33 throughout the day so it wasn’t cold. I took a long walk and snapped a bunch of pictures. These pictures don’t really capture what I experienced. I walked slowly, listening to the soft sounds of the snow. The snow brought grace and peace.
When we last left our intrepid hero he was going to bed on Sunday night with a slight back pain.
I woke up Monday morning.. uh I gotta get up and go to work. Let’s just get out of bed. I can’t move. You can do this.. Swing the legs out and sit up.. UHHHHG!
I had stiffened up significantly over night and had some spasm of pain under certain movements. I ended up calling into work saying I would be late since everything took so long to do. I couldn’t put on my jeans. I couldn’t lift my leg high enough to get it through the leg hole. I eventually got ready and went to work. I lurched about the office like the humpback of Notre Dame as I tried to move as little as possible. It didn’t hurt a whole lot when I sat down and almost not at all if I lay down, but the muscle would so stiffen up and hurt that the temporary pain relief wasn’t really worth it.
Over Tuesday and Wednesday it got a little better but no much. I still lurched around. All the limping had really caused my bad left hip and left to begin hurting a lot. I was not in good shape.
After almost four days of pain I thought it time to got to the doctor. After an hour wait, the doctor saw me. The exam confirmed what I had assumed. I had a torn muscle in the small of my back. The doctor gave me some stretches and recommended heat. Most importantly, she gave me a small number of very powerful muscle relaxants. These are the types of pills where they tell you not to drive or make important life decisions while under the influence.
I took a pill at work on Friday. I waited for the effect. About lunch time my boss was talking to me and my body just started shutting down. I had an almost uncontrollable desire to fall to the ground and sleep forever. Finally my boss left. I closed the door and crawled under my desk to take the nap of the dead. I slept for eleven hours that night after taking a pill before bedtime.
I took another pill early Saturday afternoon. When it kicked in a collapsed in bed next to the cat and slept for another two hours. On the upside the pills were working. I had a lot less pain and I had regained the ability to walk like a normal person. Not only did the pills make me tired but they gave me a muddled head I called the brain cloud. I really wanted a tall glass of ice water, so I went into the kitchen and made one. I walked back into the living room and set it down right next to the other tall glass of ice water I had gotten like twenty minutes earlier.
When I went to Buffalo Wild Wings to watch the Bears (they WON!!!) I left the screen door to the balcony open. I often open it to let Jobu hang out out there. But I always close it in fear that with this tiny brain he will try and jump to the ground breaking his fuzzy legs. I still had some pain and stiffness that night but thing where trending toward being healthy.
I have spent a grand total of five days in my life in Paris. We didn’t fall in love. I did fall for some of her many charms and we had a short fling in the spring of 2012.
Over the last day I have written (In my head) a lot about the latest attacks in Paris. Frankly, I have read so many stupid things over the last day that I don’t want to add my own stupidity to the cacophony.
So I am just going to leave you with two things. First, I have met a lot of people in my life. They have been from all sorts of different places with all sorts of different backgrounds. Despite all that diversity they have all had much in common. Most people just want to live their lives, fall in love, have a few kids, and be happy once in awhile.
Secondly here are some pictures of that beautiful place who’s people have been wounded.
In a previous poorly written and confusing post, I tried to explain the correlation between the energy our brains use, habits, and self improvement. Every time we make a decision we use up some of the energy that we have available. Deciding what to eat for lunch, deciding/resisting the temptation to eat a cupcake at work, all take up energy and make us mentally tired. Some decisions use up way more energy than others. One way to reduce the amount of energy we use is to make habits. Habits end up existing as pre-made decisions. If you line up your clothes in you closet so that in the morning you just put on the next outfit, you won’t use up any brain energy deciding what to wear. I had a friend who always ate the exact same thing for lunch and made it the night before. He never had to put out any effort into lunch either in the morning or at lunch time. We regain this energy through sleep, relaxing, and eating.
What does any of this have to do with extroverts and introverts? The current definition of an introvert is someone who re-energizes through being alone or with a small number of people in quiet situations. An extrovert replenishes their energy from being in public loud and active situations that involve a lot of people. I bet you can see where I am going with this?
Maybe the reason people recharge is because they are doing the thing that requires the least amount of effort. For the person who is used to coming home and going out with friends or stopping for happy hour on the way home being with people in a social environment takes almost no efforts. This allows them to rebuild their energy. It would take way more effort for them to say no to going out with their friends and staying in to read a book. The opposite for introverts.
The main reason I think there may be something to this idea is my own life. And as we all know science is powered by personal anecdotal evidence. In my life I have flipped multiple times between being extroverted and being introverted. I have had long periods of time where I would just stay at home and play video games and watch tv and times were I would go hang with friends almost every night.
Some circumstance in my life ususally precipitated these shifts. I moved or some event ocurred that I repsonded to by changing my behavoir for a long period of time until that became my new behavior.
A short and painful That was the Week for this week.
I began Nanowrimo for like the 6th time. I have tried to write the same novel five of those times. I am not using Nanowrimo in the traditional way. The normal goal is over 1600 words I day. I find that number daunting and hard to do. Instead I am just trying to write something, a little bit, every day. I am trying to make a habit of it 🙂 I did not work on the novel one day during the week but I did write other things so I count that a win.
On Sunday I did my laundry. My washing machine is broken but the dryer still works. So I take my clothes down to the laundromat, wash them, and then bring them home to dry. Wet clothes are way heavier than dry clothes. When I got home I picked the big basket of wet clothes off the ground. I felt something not right in my lower back. It didn’t actually hurt. It just felt wrong. I carried the clothes up the rest of the way. Eight hours later I bent down to pick something off the floor.. OUCH!!! Something hurt. My back didn’t lock up or anything but my lower back was sore. It remained sore the rest of the night but never really got that bad. I went to bed… to be continued.