Sorry this got posted late, I forgot to load an image for it!
Clearly, I was having more than just ‘feelings’.
So a week after I wrote about wanting to cut back on work and how important work-life balance is, my orthopedist told me that I can’t work as much as I usually do.
He didn’t say that directly, but that’s what it amounts to.
As some of you may know, I’ve been dealing with pretty chronic back pain for a long time. When I lived in Germany, I was friends with a Orthopedist, and whenever my back hurt he’d just help me stretch out, pull my arm or my leg, and it would be ok for a while. When it was bad and I herniated a disc in my back, he sent me for some excellent physical therapy.
But I never had an x-ray.
I finally found and walked into the office of an English-speaking Orthopedist here in Japan. The pain in my lower back was in the exact same spot it always has been, L4 and L5. Over the past few months, it’s been mostly on my left side, with a few instances of it moving to the right, if I had a massage or did a lot of stretches in the morning.
My morning yoga routines had morphed into morning lower-back stretching routines. Which was fine, as it was all stretching anyway, but in my overachiever mind it felt like it wasn’t good enough. I know that when I run, the pain is less, but it’s been summer and therefore too hot to try running. At least outside.
As soon as he looked at my back, he said I had scoliosis. Hey, great! My back is bent. Then we went on to discuss my symptoms and get some x-rays, and he did some flexibility and range of motion tests. The verdict: light scoliosis and too much ‘rest’. Not as in ‘I’m resting because I’m tired and am super lazy’, but rest as in ‘I’m sitting too much and not moving enough in a 24-hour period’.
Between my 7 hours of sleep and 10-hour work days, I am not moving enough. I totally agree with him! So I explained my job and how I generally am just sitting all the time, and he told me I can’t do that anymore. I can’t sit for more than 90 minutes at a time now, and if I do, I have to get up and walk around for at least 15 minutes before I sit down again.
So that whole ‘6 40-minute lessons in a row with a 5-minute break in between’ thing I’ve been doing is totally not going to work anymore.
I wonder if somehow I knew it was too much. I’ve been saying we need to cut back on our hours, and get back to an 8-hour work day for a while now. I feel like the universe is telling me I don’t have a choice anymore. I’m actually ok with that, and the possible pay cut that’s going to come along with it.
Some things we can’t justify doing. I think in my mind, I couldn’t justify cutting back on the hours I’ve spent so long working, even though I knew it was bad for me. ‘We need the money’ seems to be our justification for working too much.
But now that a doctor has told me I have to cut back, I am completely ok with doing it. 100%. I want to be able to run and walk around unassisted way into my 90’s, so I will do whatever I need to do to make sure I can maintain that quality of life.
<<< I fully intend to be this woman when I’m older.
So now, I’m going to be working 2 lessons, taking a break and a walk, then repeat. I’m ok with this. I’m going to have to see how much money I lose, or what I want to do with my schedule once I get into a pattern. I don’t want Mark to feel like he has to work more to make up for my lower hours. I hope I can find something that works.