For the past few months, my main back problems have been limited to my upper back and neck. The top part of my spine locked up, and despite repeated trips to the chiropractor, it would not budge.

This past weekend, while we were in Vermont, there was actual movement in my upper back. Adam picked me up and swung me around, in his trademark way of being a bit too rough with me, and there was a significant pop in my upper spine. It was a release, a small one, but finally something.

Maybe being away from home (and my usual patterns) allowed me to de-stress enough for this to happen. Maybe it was using my muscles during snowboarding.

Maybe the slightly colder weather made the difference. My chiropractor told me that being warm will inhibit spine flexibility because heat makes us slightly ďpuffierĒ internally, so thereís less room to move around in there. The same is true for being slightly allergic to something.

Itís amazing the number of things that can affect us in subtle ways.

Monday, though, it was my lower back that was hurting. I happened to have an appointment with the chiropractor that night. I went, and upper back and neck finally made some significant progress. My neck and shoulders feel normal.

For some reason, he was super careful with my lower back, without me asking. Both of my chiropractors have expressed concern about my lower back. I guess I must be huge mess back there, but it usually doesnít cause me any pain, so I donít worry about it. But, oh, it caught up with me on Monday.

It laughed at my attempts at medication, and it was only slightly tamed by a heating pad, when I stayed flat on my back.

Tuesday, it was slightly better, and Wednesday was slightly better than Tuesday. Wednesday, after work, I came home to the foam roller Iíd ordered online earlier in the week, out of desperation. I didnít even bother looking at the directions or recommended positions.

I went with my gut. I unrolled out my yoga mat, spread out flat on top of it, and planted the foam cylinder under my tailbone. I was rewarded with instant relief. Iím getting all dreamy-eyed and content just remembering it, right now. It stretched my lower back just how it needed to be stretched, and after days of lower back pain, that was sheer bliss.

I even started asking myself, if I had to choose between this and sexÖ then I stopped myself. I wouldnít even go there. Thatís like asking me which cat I love the most.

So, anyway, now I know what people mean when they say they love their foam rollers. I used to think, ďThat doesnít even look comfortable, let alone pleasurable.Ē Consider me educated about the value of a foam roller.

Even better, my back actually seemed fixed afterwards. I was able to go about the rest of my evening relatively pain free, and today, thereís only the faintest shadow of soreness.

I think that last night, I entered a new emotional phase.

My biggest fears and anxieties tend to surface after I go to bed at night. So, when I first decided that I needed a career change, I was at a loss. I had a deep-seated belief that as long as Iím capable of earning a steady paycheck, then Iím morally obligated to do so. This is not something that crosses over to other people, or if it does, Iím not nearly as strict about it. Thatís a fun thing for some of us; holding ourselves to unattainably high standards until we have a mental break down.

Because not everyone can work due to a variety of health or situational circumstances, that makes it even more imperative that I work. Someone has to pay taxes, buy property, make investments and contribute to the economy. I took that upon myself. Why? Perhaps I was just trying to make up for my parents? I donít know.

So, anyway, first I started out with feeling extremely helpless to do anything about my deeply unsatisfying work life. It isnít just that I hate the day-to-day tasks of my job, but I hate where itís going. Iíve always wanted to be more in life, and Iíve always suspected that I could be more. I just needed the right direction, but I didnít know which direction that was. Once I figured out my direction, I didnít see how it would be possible to move from one thing to the next.

Then, I moved into a phase where I decided that I must make a change. Iíd just quit and try to borrow the needed money. I figured that once I actually made the change, I would need time to reorient myself in my new lifestyle, get educated and come up with a plan. That stuff requires money. I have some saved away, but not nearly enough. Iím actually still working on this whole money piece. During this phase, my feelings have mostly been along the lines of, ďI must be totally crazy. Only a crazy person would do this, right?Ē Those words alternated with feeling just plain selfish and bratty. ďFinancial security is not good enough for you, eh? You know how many people would kill for that in this economy?Ē

Last night, I had a new and different feeling. I caught myself wondering how it is that I ever thought that I could really get anywhere without making this change? How did I ever think that it was acceptable that I spend my energy on this job, when it could go to much better use?

How did I think I was ever going to really grow and get somewhere as a person while working as a corporate drone? Even upper management doesnít do much except make money that they donít have time to enjoy.

That line of thinking made me feel positive and excited. I felt like a pot of water that had been heating on the stove, and without one bubble of warning, exploded into a rolling boil.

I woke up feeling pretty damn good about life today.

Tonight, I might actually try to workout, if my body is feeling good enough. Iíll just be gentle.

1 comments so far

Thursday, Mar. 29, 2012 at 3:57 PM