Merry Christmas!

May all the good tidings of the season be yours, and please dear God, bring on the new year!

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.

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.


‘Tis the season of giving thanks and showing thanks and making at cheery and bright. Grosgrain ribbon is a popular adornment of the season because it cuts so cleanly. One of my favorite things to do is to pull at one of the small ends and pull until the weft is loosed and the warp is freed from it’s interwoven supports. Eventually the weft snags and the whole construct is lost and there is a snarl of ribbon left to be thrown away with the ripped paper. This time though, I’m not the one pulling the uneven thread and I feel powerless to stop fate from tugging at the carefully woven ribbon until nothing is left but the warp.

It has to be the season plucking at my anxiety strings. My thoughts blink from one dire situation to another. For example….I am sure I can keep my job if I just keep working yet I’m still terrified they are going to find out I’m a fraud and fire me. I’m making plans, deeply committed plans for my future, and I’m terrified I’m going to sprout a tumor or die just on the cusp of realizing my life’s ambition. What if Sammy dies? My control over what I can control is spiralling again, though I’m not binging at pre-apocalyptic proportions, I’m eating more of what I shouldn’t than I should. I’m forcing myself to eat because I’d rather just not. I want to just go to bed and stay in bed and be done with it.

I’m not that person any more, and I know it. Yes, anxiety still plucks at my strings trying to create a soothing melody for me to stay abed but the melody is discordant to me now and is more like scratching on a chalkboard, but it’s still there trying. Trying just as hard as I am not to give in, but it offers chocolate, and I succumb. I don’t know where I am in the unraveling process, at the begging, the even free flowing warp or the snarl of disposable threads of what is left. Wait, I just realized, I’m not the ribbon in this metaphor, it’s a part of the package, but it’s not all of me. I am the gift, wrapped in God’s love and support and even when anxiety tries to snarl my decorations I have confidence in me and in Him that even through the most stressful season of the year (in a year of stressful seasons) the whole of me won’t be warped, maybe just frayed around the edges for a short season.