Click the picture for the story of Calypso, the Three Legged Green Sea Turtle, and why she's my symbol

Sunday, October 14, 2012

How Do You Find Balance?

How do people find balance in their lives? I've always had a hard time balancing things in my life. I tend to go to extremes whenever I have a choice in front of me and it comes back to bite me EVERY TIME! You think I'd have learned by. There are the things I've always struggled with (homework vs. leisure time, clean vs. orderly, health food vs. junk food) but I've got a few that have come to the forefront lately.

1) Slides vs. Hitchhiking
A project I've been working on for my parents is to scan in their old projector slides. My dad is a photobug and has slides going back to when he was a kid (though most are from me and my siblings lifetimes). Realizing that the film was degrading my dad got an attachment for our scanner so that we could scan them into the computer. Only problem is that it only scans in four slides at a time.

It takes about 2-3 hours to scan in one carousel of slides. Most boring job I've ever had.

This extremely tedious task was offered to me, in exchange for a small amount of gas money. As I'm not otherwise employed this is one of my few opportunities for real work, so I dived right into it. For obvious reasons I'd rather drive myself, rather than say hitchhiking. I started doing 2-3 reels a day.

If I ever do end up hitchhiking I won't forget my towel.

The problem with this is the longer I did this the more I felt increased lower back pain. My back pain had more or less vanished since I gave up my wheelchair at the beginning of this year. If I push myself too hard scanning slides, I end up slightly less broke but in pain. I've been trying to moderate myself, only doing one (maybe one and a half) a day; gas is a good motivator but back pain is a good deterrent. Finding balance is the goal but it's hard not to do a ton or give up entirely. It's a process...

2) Old Brace vs. New Brace
I'm now in the middle of two different braces, both AFOs (Ankle Foot Orthosis). My old AFO looks like this:

and my new AFO looks like this:

The Allard ToeOFF is a carbon fiber brace with enough flexibility to let me bend my leg a little without falling over.

They can both be a pain in different ways. My old AFO gives me blisters on my heal and cuts into my skin near my knee. The new AFO gives me blisters where the bottom strap is. Since my leg is used to the old AFO it does far less damage, but the new AFO allows me a more natural gait and more freedom of motion. I tried wearing my new AFO full time but the skin around the straps isn't ready for full time usage. I'll try and ramp up the amount of time I spend in it but it's going to be a long time before it's ready for full time use.

3)School Mode vs. Exercise Mode vs. Internet Mode
I come from a family of procrastinators so it's hard to get the things I need to accomplished. I'm doing well in school but I still struggle with finding time for everything else in my life. I try and spend so much time each week exercising but it inevitably gets sucked into school time or internet time (i.e. this blog). I love my blog, since it's how I communicate with family and friends on how my recovery is going. But to keep writing is a lot of work, especially when I've got a million other things on my plate.

Be sure to check out The Turtle Walks facebook page.

It's not perfect but somehow I've struggled and found a tentative balance between all the activities in my life. For now, it's working. No matter how tempting I won't blow off school, my exercise time, or writing on this blog; they've all become important parts of my life. Just don't ask me for anything else; not because I wouldn't do it but I'd end up doing it when I get around to it. And I have been known for being a little flaky...

Yep, that's me alright.

Let me know how you find balance for your life.