Permission

I have all of these tabs and windows waiting for me on my laptop. They’re organized by similar activities, courses, tutorials, and sites I frequently visit. I have stacks of books, notebooks, sketchbooks, and art supplies waiting for me. My guitar is in a convenient location and I have a vision board that covers a whole wall in the bedroom. I have photos of the kids on my desk with playful objects that bring me joy. I also have photos of the younger me to remind me to love myself just as much as I love anyone else. The kitchen counter has sprouting plants and the balcony is colorful with flowers. My environment is primed with reminders to embrace exploration, learning, creativity, playfulness, beauty, and joy.

Today I looked at all of them and said, nah, lmao! The day started out nicely, I attended a CGC Movie Club video meeting, we discussed The Power of One, it was a lively engaging discussion. We were all from different countries, India, Canada, and USA so we’ve had differing experiences in regards to racism which led to a fascinating conversation. Afterward, I ate oatmeal and journaled on the balcony, I was out there for about 45 mins. Then I came inside and felt like doo doo. I had congestion in my chest, a headache, fatigue, was short of breath and felt cold. I decided to rest, hoping I would feel better so I could do some more fun stuff.

I watched Anne with an E and still felt, blah, so I took a 20-minute nap. Then I had a long hot bath with a book and tea. I read Refuse to Choose. The congestion subsided afterward there was only a little whir in my chest, breathing easier but still so tired. I mulled over going for a walk or forcing myself to be productive…nah, lmao. I chose to succumb and watched another episode of Anne with an E. As I was resting I googled the doctor’s office on our street a few doors down that happens to be Kaiser Permanente, that’s the insurance I have. They’re temporarily closed. I tried researching doctors, but it was on my phone, too small. I told myself to research later on the laptop when I felt energetic enough to be vertical.

I also ate over the rest of the day a salad, a veggie dog wrapped in a tortilla, black-eyed peas, sweet potato, spinach, celery juice, cherries, Biscoff cookies, and dark baking chocolate with tea. Comforting foods.

Then it was blogging time and meh, what to write about? I sat in my squeaky computer chair waiting for inspiration, nah, nada. So here I am writing about my day.

It’s humbling when your health doesn’t cooperate. When you’re healthy you pay it no mind, you take it for granted that you can do anything you want, you think that you’ll always be able-bodied, especially if you maintain healthy practices, you think that will keep you functioning optimally. But sometimes no matter how diligent you are, it’s no guarantee that you will stay healthy, some things you can’t prevent. So you have to adjust and make the best of it and listen to your body when it says you need to rest. I am learning to listen. I admit I’ve been stubborn over the years and made my body do things that have led to the state it’s in now, like working nights and working too much at highly stressful jobs.

Now I’m trying to make up for it and I’m nurturing and pampering myself, giving myself permission to rest. I did that today, I really wanted to power through, but I’m proud of myself, I rested. In this society, many would call me undisciplined, weak, and lazy. I call it taking care of and honoring myself while valuing my health.

Some people question why I’m not working as a nurse anymore and think that I’m shirking my duty because I’m trained as a nurse I should always serve the greater good in that function. They can’t understand why I would give up the higher rate of pay either because they value money more than anything else. Well, I value my health and sanity over money. What good is money if you’re not healthy enough to enjoy it? What good is money if you’re dead from sacrificing your health for the money? It’s not worth it. I hope it’s not too late for me to regain my health.

I do wish I could’ve figured out other healthier ways to make money in the past, but once you’re on a trajectory and have children to consider, it limits your capacity to diverge. While you’re in the throes of it you don’t have the luxury of stopping, you’ve gotta pay the bills, TCB. Poor health sneaks up on you gradually and begins to weigh on you until you either change course or keep powering through taking your chances or until you can’t go anymore. I changed course, I also did bankruptcy and am so thankful I did.

Today I chose to rest and I’m not feeling regretful or beating myself up about it. I’m patting myself on the back, yay me. I’m getting smarter, lol.

Michelle Miyagi
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