Massaging The Asset

One of the points in Essentialism by Greg McKeown is Protecting the Asset. The asset being the Essentialist. I don’t know if I have declared it publically, but I am trying to be an essentialist. Protecting the asset is pretty much what it sounds like….I am the asset and I need to protect me. This isn’t the setting-boundaries-with-people-who-want-to-hurt-me-emotionally protecting but protecting myself from entropy in life to keep me working towards my goal. Essentially, I need to sleep regularly and for a set amount of time. I need to eat right and drink water. I need to keep my finances in check so I can have the time I want to write. And {sigh} I need exercise to stay strong to sit for hours at a time to work.

I joined Planet Fitness because their monthly rate works out to be the reimbursement my company provides for a gym membership…..and this is the Black Card Membership where they have massage chairs, hydro-tables and and infrared light booth that the teen-ager behind the counter told me will help remove wrinkles. I’m more interested in these benefits…

Infrared therapy has many roles in the human body. These include detoxification, pain relief, reduction of muscle tension, relaxation, improved circulation, weight loss, skin purification, lowered side effects of diabetes, boosting of the immune system and lowering of blood pressure.

http://www.news-medical.net

To be perfectly honest though, I said yes to the massage chairs and the hydro-table. Never heard of a hydro-table before but now I don’t think I can live without it. I signed up last weekend, took a tour of the facility on Tuesday and gave them both a whirl. The hydro-table is like having your back turned to a warm water firehose (you can adjust the pressure and speed) running up and down your back. It kneads and relaxes with the heat. The only downside is you have to get up after 10 minutes to tell the kids at the front desk to flip the switch again. The massage chair found knots in my shoulder and neck I didn’t even know I had! I have one in the middle of my right scapula which I tied up by working in a non-ergonomic position to finish my birthday jacket. I noticed last night was the first night I didn’t wake up with the gnawing pain in the middle of my back pushing it’s way through to my front. I’m hoping to have the other bumps the massager found gone within a reasonable amount of time as well. I spent 45 minutes there today doing both twice. This time having the hydro and heat soften up my muscles and then letting the chair knead the knots out. I’m hoping a faster relaxation for bed tonight.

I’ve actively chosen to not listen to the evil pixie in the back of my head telling me I’m not worth it, I’m wasting money, and I’m just going to be a dumpy gray-haired wanna-be for the rest of my life. I think ignoring that is part of protecting the asset too. Not believing all the people, pixies and statistics telling me I’m not going to succeed as a writer is going to be the metaphorical armor I’m going to have to wear for a while until I can massage my ego up from the depths of my psyche to essentially stand in the light with me and my convictions.

Mixed Messages

Last Thursday I was told by my sister that she and my other sister believe my goals to move out of state were just “a pipe dream and were never going to happen”. It cut deeply. I thought they finally had my back now that Mom was out of the middle stirring up conflict. I thought I finally wasn’t alone and I finally had my sisters back. This betrayal made me doubt if I would be able to achieve my goals. If I would ever be stable enough to get my own place, ie buy a house somewhere, and live a life by my standards, rules and means. If they don’t have faith in me, how can I have faith in me? I spent the evening fighting those thoughts and tears of anger while I tried to be productive as an essentialist.

After my shower I found someone had slid a package under my door. I had been expecting fountain pens in the mail and completely forgot about the tin signs I had ordered weeks ago.

These images are now on my mirror in the bathroom so I can see them every day to remind me of my potential and my strength.

The best message came today during prayer. I asked if He believed in my goals and the warmth and hope radiating from my heart brought tears to my eyes. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. And I will.

Essential Goals

It’s a new month which means it GOAL TIME again. I’m stymied. I write S.M.A.R.T. goals. And I’ve been very good about writing a set of goals that cover EVERYTHING I have an interest in. I write my goals with the same maxim my Mom used for selling mobile homes: If you throw enough crap on the wall, eventually something will stick. And, I guess in a purely numbers game, it’s not a bad practice. My goals aren’t numbers and the purpose of them is to propel me towards the ultimate goals in my life. Instead, I’ve filled my life with busy work so I can avoid the one thing I’ve always wanted since I was 11: To Be a Published Author!

Ellen suggested I read (listen) to a book called Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown. So, I started listening on my way into work. I’m generally to tired and/or brain dead to listen to anything other than fluff on the way home otherwise I’d be done by now. He coaches leaders and management teams in the reality most management staff enthusiastically ignores: Everything is NOT important. Companies and people try to do everything for everyone and fail in providing anything of true value to anyone. His example was we try to go a millimeter in every direction instead of marshalling our energies to go in one direction where we can truly make a difference in our lives, our families and the world. That description summed up my goals perfectly. I was trying to achieve a little bit in financial goals, in spiritual goals, work goals, writing goals, family goals, health goals…..and on and on and on and on….and never really getting anywhere.

This book has come into my life at a very important time. I am no longer trying to dig myself out of the crap-hole I was in before and directly after the apocalypse. I am actively looking for a template, a concept or a philosophy to destroy the stumbling blocks of my past so I can build a strong foundation for my new life. The one blessing to be had beyond surviving the abuse and major depression is to to design and write my life the way I want it to be. I’m replacing the old psychological tapes with bright shiny CD’s of brave self-talk and I’m making the choices instead of letting the choices make me. I am scared witless, (honestly, when am I not?), but Mr. McKeown is helping me see through the fog of fear right now.

My journal entry on Saturday narrowed down the top goal, the only real goal I’ve had my whole life: To be a published author. All of my goals before had a writing component to it, but it also had spirituality, financial, educational, work, health and Misc. section where I was pushing through the whole year to mark off boxes on an annual To Do list instead of moving forward in one purposeful direction. I’m not saying spirituality, financial stability, health and education aren’t important I’m saying they are no longer on par with the ONE goal. There is a component of each of those ancillary goals in the larger one but time is finite and my share of it not committed to work and commute is even smaller.

I haven’t finished the book yet. I’m hoping he tells me there is an app that opens up when I try to enter a task or appointment and asks “Is this going to help you to be where you want to be in 5 years?” (The current goal is to be published in 5 years) so I don’t just willy-nilly say yes to someone/something that really won’t push me along the path I want to be on. I’ve made some decisions though. I’m not going to do my Christmas project like I did last year. I wanted to do hats and scarves for the homeless, or send them off to the refugees of Ukraine but I need to be writing. I will still crochet because it helps me when I need to work through a knot in a plot or I just need quiet time to let things ferment before I write. If I get some hats and scarves together before Christmas I will find homes for them but the “project” part has been abandoned. I feel bad, like I’m a bad person for choosing my goals over charity, and honestly, as I’m writing this I’m still questioning it. Another example McKeon made was a quote of a friend of his. “If it’s not a Hell Ya! it’s a no.” The project isn’t a Hell ya! Then again, exercise isn’t a Hell Ya! either but I have to do it anyway, both for health and to grow my stamina to write. I wonder how Mr. McKeown would advise me on that?

More to follow…..

Now, off to the goals…….