Today is day 10 of my 28 day medical leave. My lower back had been hurting on and off for a couple of years – sometimes it would flare up badly and I had difficulty even walking. I was going to a chiropractor and he encouraged me to get another MRI. I had one 2 years ago and had a small bulging disc. The most recent MRI showed 3 fully herniated discs, two with small extrusions. (Basically, the jelly had squished out of the donut and was starting to travel.)
My doctor prescribed physical therapy, restricted sitting/driving, and unofficial orders to focus on losing weight, strengthening my core muscles, and to get myself healthy and strong again. So that’s what I have been doing. Every day.
I go to physical therapy and get my new exercises for the week. I go to the gym and do the low impact workout classes and have begun using the weight machines on low weight settings. I stretch every day. I try to swim at least 3 days a week – in the high school pool or the lake. I meditate. I attend a tai chi class on Wednesdays.
I still teach, so there is some time spent in a chair in front of a computer – like today. It doesn’t take long for my tailbone to tighten up and my spine to get inflamed again. I have to remember to get up and stretch and walk to loosen everything back up.
So the attitude of gratitude post idea came when I opened up Mindbloom.com after about 2 years of not playing it (it’s a nifty little game to remind you to take care of the important things in your life). Two of my daily tasks were to keep a gratitude journal & to journal my thoughts/feelings.
I am trying to recondition my mind during this time away to stay focused on my core values. I had them paired down to two main ones: authenticity and love, but I’m adding gratitude – because it really is important, I believe, to remember to be grateful for everything I have and everything that is coming my direction.
I am grateful for the little park and beach on the lake a couple of miles from our house. There’s a nice sandy swimming area and the weather has been beautiful. I’ve had a lovely time floating and stretching and swimming. I love watching the kids (and sometimes the adults) jumping off the boat dock (despite the signs telling them not to). I love watching the fish swim by in the water. I love the sun and the clouds and the waves. I love the warm water and the weird cold spots that drift by your legs as the current flows.