Finally, on the last Christmas eve of the decade, here I am sitting in front of my laptop after five long months, and staring at the blank screen of the new post page of my blog. I want to publish a post before this year fades away. Each of my posts in the past has arisen from a tiny thread of happenings in my life. The last five months have been packed with lots of happenings. Still, my mind is not holding any specific thread.
I had done 34 posts in 2 years. Looking back, those 2 years had gone by in a blur. It may not be a great thing, something to celebrate, when you compare the post count of other (serious) bloggers. But it’s a ‘not bad’ feeling for me. I used to post every week when I started my blog, and later even twice a week at times. But it has been a while now since I posted anything. Though the reasons for ‘my life away from my blog’ are many, lower back pain is on top of the list of reasons.
I had a severe, lower back, muscle spasm this September which forced me to be in bed for more than 2 weeks. The mere thought of being unable to get up from my bed shook me up badly. This was the fifth time this year that I had to endure that awful pain in my lower back. I could not attend my best friend’s daughter’s wedding because of a similar attack which happened during June. I was advised to take bed rest then also. I felt angry with myself for not giving enough attention to my body and health.
There is a saying: ‘There are no mistakes or failures, only lessons.’ The immobility caused by severe back pain gave me the opportunity to reflect on the lesson I was supposed to learn from this experience. I used to sit for long hours in front of my laptop. I had never bothered about posture. Also, I never used to take afternoon naps. I had not tested my vitamin B12 or D3 levels in a long while and never used to take any supplements. At home, I used to move around furniture on my own every other day to give a new look to my interiors. In short, I had taken my body for granted.
After two weeks of bed rest, my doctor advised me not to bend down or lift and carry any weights. But I was allowed to walk around my home and do basic household chores. With the help of vitamin supplements and minor lifestyle changes, I am getting ready to say a complete farewell to my back pain. I have gained the confidence of walking with no pain. But the thought of the severe muscle spasm attacks I suffered makes me panic at times.
Due to the frequent attacks, it was hard to focus on writing. Some ideas popped up every now and then but my back pain didn’t allow me to sit up and write. I had lots of time but no energy to write. I have learned many lessons on the way. The most important ones are:
- It’s okay to take breaks and even stop writing for a while.
- Life can get tough at times and then can turn beautiful again.
Also, I have had some pleasant and memorable events during these months. My mom came and stayed with me for two months. My college friends started visiting me often. My loving cousins turned up one day and we had a great time together. My helpful neighbors have been watching over me offering me help whenever I needed it the most.
I realised that I had never given much attention to my breath. Now, I have been reminding myself to breathe consciously and with intention. Every inhalation and exhalation reminding me how privileged I am to be alive in this beautiful world.
I am thankful for my (mostly) functional body. I am thankful for my husband, beautiful kids, my extended family including my mom, brother, sister-in-law, sister, my loving friends, cousins, and nieces. And also all the opportunities I have had to create success, and shape the future I want.
The back pain will pass soon. But I am sure the memories, sentiments, emotions, and struggles of this year will stay. I am sure that if I can find happiness while being stuck on the bed with pain, I can find happiness anywhere.
Last but not least, I am aware of my posture whenever I stand or sit. I want to buy a convertible standing/sitting desk soon. Until then my general rule of thumb is: When I have energy, I stand. When I am tired, I sit. My back pain is my body’s way of reminding me to take pause and reflect. It is my wake-up call.
Please take care of your body; that’s the only place your soul can dwell!
Happy empty-nesting 🙂
Every human being is the author of his own health or disease ~ Buddha