Sunday morning I awoke to the worst reminder ever: You are Human! I hadn’t taken my medications for the RA and had neglected to take my vitamins on top of that. I was facing severe fatigue. I had to cancel my Ballet class and stay in bed for longer than I wanted to. It occurred to me that it had been a long time since I had even thought about me and Rheumatoid Arthritis. To comfort myself, I pulled out my favorite television show of all time. One that I still believe is the best one ever made: Northern Exposure. I chose to start at the beginning: Season One, Episode One. Instantly, I was taken back to all my former selves who lived for a Northern Exposure episode.
The day I discovered Northern Exposure, I was bored out of my mind and had been home sick for a few days. I was fifteen years old and had Pneumonia. I was so weak during this time that walking upstairs winded me.
Episode One starts by introducing us to each of the quirky, unique characters. Each one with an entrance that, although visually not provocative, has a story that is truly unique. From Maurice to Ed to Marilyn who smiles and says less than 20 words in the entire episode. This show is about good storytelling sans visual effects, sans crazy twists, and sans gory violence. It simple and true.
As I lay there filled with the need to move, the characters of Northern Exposure supported me, each with their dialogue and the calm town’s backdrop: Alaska. Ever since that day in 1995 that I found this show, I have been dreaming of going to Alaska. Because I was reminiscing, I began to evaluate my actions in the past weeks and inquire about the possible reasons behind why I had a sudden episode of fatigue; it was not a symptom of RA, I usually suffered from.
It quickly became clear that I had tried to do the most, as my students put it. I had graded nonstop for two weeks and spent 6 hours on a Friday grading Personal Narratives. Then, I had spent almost every day for the past 3 weeks staying late at work trying to get more done and ahead of myself. Finally, I had scheduled two back to back trips. What is it about human nature that makes us believe we are invincible? Working like this, it was inevitable that I would crash. Crash hard.
What did I learn from the past few weeks? Slow down! Okay so, knowing that I need to slow down and actually slowing down are two entirely different things. Slowing down on Sunday did allow me to have a better day at work today, one where I wasn’t running around like crazy. So today, I decided to make an action plan on a few ways that I am going to slow down so that I can make it to the finish line in a better mood, and healthy.
1. Stay focused during my planning period, so I can be productive.
2. Stay late only on the days that I have to for meetings, etc.
3. No grading on the weekends, unless emergencies happen.
I decided to make three routines that I would try out in hopes of being more successful. Being a human it turns out means that you have limitations. Alas, I am not invincible, but I am healthy and happy today.
NaBloPoMo Day 18 More than 1/2 way there!