It wasn't until just a couple years ago when I faced a realization. All my life I have had an abundance of energy. Way more than the average person. My cousin Cindy (who's 9 years younger) told me she thought there was always something wrong with her, as she felt she couldn't muster up the energy to keep up with me. Then 2 years ago she told me that in fact there was nothing wrong with her - she was normal, and I was the one who was abnormal. I have always had a ridiculous amount of energy naturally. Perhaps it has something to do with being an only child and often saying when I was younger that I felt bored. My parents always said, "Well then, go do something." So off I went and played with my toys, or made an art project, or did cartwheels in the backyard. Fast forward to age 33. For the past 3 days, I have spent 90% of my waking hours horizontal. Either in bed or on the sofa. I am exhausted. Totally exhausted. And not afraid to admit it. (You see in Chinese culture - or at least how my mom was raised, you are just expected to work all the time, and just rest when you're sleeping. To her, there is no such thing as a medical condition called exhaustion.) I am and always have been a workaholic, though I am still trying every single day to work smarter, not always harder.
I looked at my calendar for April as I was laying on the sofa with Buster's butt at my chin, and I realized that I had worked every single day except for 1 Sunday. And even on that Sunday I had actually spent about 4 hours on the computer getting stuff ready for the following week. Plus in the month of April I added a healthier diet and exercise routine. Last weekend, I went hiking twice, went on a bike ride and then starting Monday, ran after work every day. Until Thursday. At around 4:30 I just had to lay down. On the floor. My body apparently was like, "Hold up, wait a minute. Not only do you want me to have all the energy to get all your work done, you want to work out every day now too?! Umm, I need a break." So then it shut down.
You see, I am not trying to gain your sympathy for something I brought upon myself, in a way. I'm blessed to do what I love, and to have a thriving little creative company. I just wanted to share some of the thoughts that have been running through my head while I have been resting. I am still not feeling well, and am horizontal once again. I shared with some of you online folks that I have been feeling sick, and I truly appreciate your well wishes. Thankfully, I have had some very good caretakers filling up my water glass, making chicken noodle soup, going to the store and buying saltine crackers and Gatorade for me, making sure I am not too hot, too cold, and being super patient. They have taken care of me and I am so grateful. I don't think I am contagious, as I have looked up fatigue and exhaustion, and it is clearly what I have. My muscles are achy, sometimes I feel super cold and hot, and I can only sit up or stand for 30 minutes at a time. So as much as I try to have happy, light hearted postings on here, I thought a little dose of not-so-fun reality wouldn't hurt. Although my body is aching right now, telling me it's time to close my eyes again. Or maybe take some more Advil. As soon as I am well again, I promise to relax more and restore even more balance into this crazy little (mostly) happy life. Hope you all had a much better weekend than I did. I read this interesting article on stress and really should have it printed out and hanging next to my desk. And enjoyed the thoughts in this article by Kyla Roma too. If you have tips on restoring balance, please do share. My mind and body will be so thankful.