Much to my relief, she said the knot in the back of my neck was from stress and gave me some strategies for dealing with it. She said that after a few days it should be better. But it wasn't getting better. So I decided that I better up the ante and get a 30 minute massage. But instead of finding the instant relief I was hoping for, I found out that my entire upper body was so tight that it would take her several sessions just to get to the deeper muscles.
The whole getting a massage to reduce my stress thing became another cycle to agonize over just like sleep. It was clear I needed massages; sometimes I could feel my muscles tensing up later that day after I had just gotten one. So at first I had to go weekly, and then every other week. The only problem is I don't have money to get massages regularly, so I would obsess the entire time about how much it was costing me.
I would try not to. I would try to do what I tell my clients to do--focus on the experience of it, focus on where she is touching you. This is your time to relax. This is making your money count. You deserve this--need this--to function. But I'm really, really, obsessive. In fact, somehow even though I wasn't saying anything out loud, my massage therapist could tell that I was obsessing the entire time.
We finally worked out a schedule where I got a discounted rate since I have to go so regularly. And I put the max into my flex spending account and have a doctor's note saying that I need the massage for my neck pain, which has helped me stop obsessing about the money.
But I obsess about other things during my massage, too. It's stressful scheduling one because once the semester starts, I have appointments every hour with just 10 minutes to get things done in-between. I would get my massage at 9 and then rush back for my 10 o'clock appointment. And then I would see back-to-back clients. By the end of the day I was stressed again.
The other problem is that my muscles are so tight that even weekly massages are not enough. I need to stretch every day, several times a day. Especially my chest muscles. And I should be doing yoga. I actually have massage homework.
I hate yoga. Well, maybe that's too strong of a word. I recommend it to clients all the time for relaxation/meditative purposes. It just never seems worth doing to me, personally. I'm used to focusing on exercise that is fun, burns calories, or builds muscle. I stretch after these activities, but stretching just for the sake of flexibility and stress management? Boring! Even though feeling my chest muscles release after stretching was an eye-opening experience, I cannot motivate myself to do yoga. Not to save money. Not to reduce stress. Not for anything. So I just feel guilty and stress about it every day that I don't do it.
But I try. I've always been a good student, always done my homework, so I do make an effort.
Last night I was in bed by 12:30 and did my nightly routine. I made coffee and packed food so I could save money. I got my massage and scheduled another one in two weeks. It wasn't too busy of a day, but on the way to my tennis match I was so tired I was falling asleep at the wheel. It started to rain and I was actually thankful that we had to reschedule. When I got home around 8:30 I fell asleep on the couch and didn't wake up until 1:30 am, at which point I had to get up and do my nightly routine. Still an exhausting day.
But on the bright side, I did fall asleep early. And I've already gotten about 5 hours of sleep in. And I finished another blog. So that's something.
Olindapully Photography (olindapullyphotography.com)