Home > Life > “Get your life right.”

“Get your life right.”

For the two years I was in grad school, I used my school as an excuse to neglect myself and stop acting like a responsible adult. I slept 4-6 hours a night, I paid my bills on the day they were due/one week late, did not change my sheets for three months at a time, and I frequently slept on my couch because I could not deal with the pile of clothes/unwashed sheets on my bed, located only three feet from my couch

I’ve finished with school for nearly a year ago now, and I’ve been working for six months. My sheets are clean, my clothes are put away, and I now live in an apartment where my bedroom is different than my living room. I have enough time that I do not have to shield my eyes from blinding adult responsibility. But there are several things that I’ve been slow to take care of for no good reason. I don’t like the feeling of putting things off. It makes me feel like a resistant 13 year-old. So between March and April, I channeled the motivation to take care of those things I’ve been ignoring:

1. Go to the eye doctor: Admittedly, I sort of have to go because my eye doctor holds my year’s worth of contact lenses if I don’t. I still consider this a triumph because I could just wear my glasses forever in order to avoid a doctor’s appointment. (I seriously considered this.)

2. Go to the GI specialist: I have a chronic GI/autoimmune condition that should be monitored. I haven’t seen my GI doctor since…2009? 2010? Whatever. It’s time. And again, I admit that the GI doctor is holding my prescription ransom until he sees me, but I’ve idiotically gone without my meds before, so it’s something stupid I can see myself repeating.

3. Purchase a compact elliptical machine: I like to run outside, but it’s been hard on my body lately. I think my cardio has been suffering during training for it, so I had to solve that problem. A tiny elliptical machine should help. Plus, I figure it’s a better investment to buy a machine than to pay for a gym membership.

4. Financial planning: My job does not have a retirement plan. While I cannot picture myself as a 65 year-old woman, I know now is the time to think about my financial future. So I opened a Roth IRA.

5. Start supervision for my LCSW: This is something that annoys me. I think professional licensing is important because it sets a standard, but I don’t like that it costs money. I have my LSW, but I want my clinical license because it could open opportunities for me in the future. Although I receive excellent weekly supervision from my supervisor, she is an MSW and not qualified by the state board to supervise me for my LCSW. So I have to pay to receive that supervision from someone else. I looked around in winter, but did not follow through. I now have a meeting scheduled to start clinical supervision in two weeks.

6. Go back to therapy: This is one is probably the easiest for me to put off since I am very good at ignoring myself. However, my job is stressful, and I find myself worrying about clients in the middle of the night and having creepy work dreams.  I also do not want my personal stuff and work stuff  entangled in a psychological spider web, so it’s time to go back. I’ve been doing some research and making phone calls, so that’s in motion.

There is one item that I want to put on the list. I think I need to go back to physical therapy for my hips. I’ve had chronic problems with my hip flexors for about a year and half now. I went to physical therapy initially and it helped. Now I keep having some very painful judo and jiu jitsu practices, and I feel stuck. My first hurdle is to keep myself from getting discouraged and feeling sorry for myself. If I engage in self-pity, I’ll stay stuck. I fully believe that every problem has a solution. While I’m scared of what a physical therapist might say to me about my hips and grappling, I won’t be in any worse position that I am now. I just have to gather up my courage.

When it comes to my life, I don’t want to be passive. If I wait around, things won’t change by magic. The tasks on my list are not monumental, but it’s those little things that keep me from staying on auto-pilot. Or going back to months of unwashed sheets.


Categories: Life Tags: , ,
  1. April 2, 2013 at 05:51

    Thought-provoking post. I share your need for dispassionate life-examination and honesty. Care of self also includes maintaining the same level of kindness, understanding and tolerance for oneself as for others. Your writing about your behavior during graduate school indicate that you HAVE that level of understanding, patience and support for yourself. Keep it up! There is no Universal Standard of Behavior that came down from the sky. There is only what we decide. It’s awesome to steer away from feeling bullied by the local society’s standards that have been unthinkingly adopted by others. It’s wise to recognize the internal pressure to fall in line with outside assumptions about you and how you live. It’s great to stay fresh in spirit, unique and thoughtful. Good job doing what works for you AND taking care of yourself!

    • April 6, 2013 at 20:15

      The more I move along in this life, the more I’m realizing the importance of slowing down to take care of myself, which manifests in a number of ways.

      I love you, Auntie C. I hope you are well! x0x0x0

  2. Ley
    April 6, 2013 at 16:09

    I totally know what you mean. I recently finally built up the courage to set up an appointment at the dentist after like…I’m embarrassed to say how long. I hope when I go they don’t tell me I am going to need a new set of teeth! These are the moments when you realize that it’s worse to put things off, but somehow I find myself in this same situation over and over. By the way, it was great reading this. I love that I can know how you are doing even if we haven’t spoken recently. 🙂

    • April 6, 2013 at 20:10

      Aw, man. I haven’t been to the dentist since I was 19 and I’m now, uh, 31. So you do the math! But I’m proud of you, L! It’s a step.

      I miss you tons! I can’t wait til our next meet-up!

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