Over the weekend I asked Kelly if I seemed “better” to him. By “better” I meant “all better”. He said yes, I seemed better but not “all better” from his perspective. He then asked me what my definition of being all better was. I immediately said that it meant being back the way I was before I got sick. After all, isn’t that usually the case? You are recovered from a broken leg when the leg is healed and back to the way it was before? I’ve been thinking about that a lot, though, and I don’t believe that definition is true anymore. After all, if I break my leg, do I then go back and repeat the activity that caused it to break in the first place? I mean, maybe I slipped on the ice. After my leg is healed, aren’t I going to be sure to be more careful next time? Or maybe I broke my leg trying to jump over the coffee table. I don’t think I would try that again! LOL! So… I got sick for a lot of reasons; menopausal hormones, traumatic life event, insane amount of obligations on my plate (meaning a work ethic set at over-achieve.) Some of those things just “are”. Others, though, I have some control over. Will I consider myself to be “all better” when I’m once again working 6 days per week, with no time to spare for anything other than work? That’s the way I was before I got sick. According to my definition, that’s what being well would mean.
Guess what. It’s not. It’s not what I want to go back to.
Questions running around in my mind…what do any of us want out of life? Who am I trying to impress by working myself into the ground? I have a great day job, but I don’t love it the way I used to. And also, when did teaching dance start to become work, too? And isn’t that a sign?
Work ethic overdrive. Where does that come from? It’s okay to be proud of the work we do. How many vegetables we planted and canned, how we painted the house, how we sewed a quilt. But where does it cross the line into being unhealthy? How many days a week can I work and still be alive? How many hours each day without collapsing? If I can’t add up what only I can judge to be a “sufficient amount of X”, have I failed?
Time has always been an issue for me. Often, my broken times and panic attacks center around the feeling that I don’t have enough time.
Time for what? Ah…there’s the question! (and the answer).
I think I will call up my future self and ask her. I’ll let you know if she calls back.