The 3-R Formula: Relaxation, Renewal and Recovery
I used to wake up feeling disoriented, grouchy and tired. Even when I had 8 hours of sleep. Even with a couple cat naps here and there.
I used to be cranky, moody and irritable with The Hubs. Either I didn't "feel" like talking to him, or when he wanted a conversation and I was "busy" watching old episodes of Columbo, I shushed him or waved my hand telling him I will talk to him later.
I used to be impatient when he would explain something to me in his slow, monotone voice with the Estonian accent. A simple question and it took him a paragraph or more in English because I didn't realize he had to translate it from Estonian to English in his mind.
I used to act and think a lot of things which didn't really make me a very likeable person - especially with the one I should be the most loving, gracious, caring and attentive to: so why was I doing it?
I realized that I was doing it to myself and not even caring about the WHY. I was turning 51 and I could see the tiny wrinkles near the corners of my eyes...i could see my energy was sapping and the weight I always struggled with kept increasing.....my thoughts were in disarray, my environment was disorganized. I had trouble remembering things and feeling impatient with myself A LOT.
And I was sorely frustrated with having to deal with recovering from shoulder surgery.
This was all back in November last year.
It's April now. New year...new month....and since signing up as a member here at WA site last month and taking the trainings...since learning how to write content and design a basic website (still learning)...since deciding to not fall back on excuses or old, bad habits...I slowly am getting back on track: physically, mentally and emotionally.
I also got back into re-programming my mind to find out what I had a passion for -- what I was missing for a long time and how important it was to basically "start over."
I did that with what i call the "R-Formula" and this is a process that takes time because it is intended to pull back the curtains of self to get to know yourself all over again the thru (3) areas: relaxation, renewal and recovery.
The state of being free from tension, anxiety, STRESS....am I getting any hands raised and heads nodding as you continue reading my blog?
Though we seek to find that inner peace and relaxation, we are so inundated with demands of career, family, relationships, community curriculum and anything else that pulls us in many directions.
For me, the time most frustrating was the "waiting period" to allow my shoulder to heal after the repair. The first few days after surgery, the entire arm was numb - down to the hand. I knew to expect it but as the nerve block wore off, the realization of pain and discomfort was intrustive ALL the time.
Re-training my mind to tell my body to relax during those first few weeks was critical. I had to minimize movement and kept the shoulder in a sling; outside of using a ice machine or needing a shower - no movement. Staying on the recliner and watching YouTube, Netflix or Amazon Prime movies and videos were the highlights of my day for awhile.
But quite a number of those videos were also how-tos on passive income, techniques about high income skills (Dan The Man Lok), discovering passion and purpose thru Tony Robbins' heart-felt, mind-blowing sessions and embracing prosperity and abundance with Lisa Nichols, founder of Motivating the Masses.
I was hooked even though it brought forth the same of negative thinking; of understanding my inner conversations often plagued me with self-doubt, uncertainty, false generalizations and misleading self-image concepts that were all to keep me in fear, mediocrity and complacency.
I was hungry to learn more and I did; and quite by chance thru a keyword search on market affiliate, an article by a member who reviewed this sight made me stop and read all about it. I wanted to know more but I realized that I still had to heal the body first and relax the mind.
It was through relaxation, I was able to do both. Reminding myself that this was a time of rest, so use it wisely was key to allowing myself to not feel guilty about leaving the house a mess for awhile, not bothering with doing laundry or cleaning the kitchen was not the end of the world.
And since my husband worked full-time as well, I decided not to put as many demands on him though he loved being my caregiver because I had to rely on him more (which inwardly, I hated because I was used to being independent and doing my own thing). Giving in to relaxation made me realize we were partners thru better or worse.....including injury recuperation.
Shaleism #1: Relaxation helps to resolve and ease negative thinking, but it's a choice.
Resuming a particular activity or state after an interruption.
Sometimes people take sabbaticals from work and then return after a specified time of being away. It is like a time of renewal for them.
My medical leave from work was 8 weeks; I could have gone longer but figured that would be sufficient time for me to heal up, initiate the necessary physical therapy from my surgeon after getting the "ok" to start and the look at going back to work in January.
Individual recovery will vary when surgical procedures are done; I knew it would take me longer because I was older, I deal with a couple chronic conditions, I am not in such good physical shape - so my healing time might take longer than someone like Stephen Curry with an ankle injury.
But right on track, I returned to work in January with duties limited to desktop activity and no heavy lifitng plus being able to work remotely twice a week to coincide on days I have physical therapy was a major plus.
It was still a long, hard road to getting the shoulder more flexible. I had to rely on my co-worker who also lived in the same town to drive me to work since it was 50-mile commute round-trip. I wasn't even able to put the parking brake down on my own car but I managed to drive myself the 15-mile route to and from physical therapy. So what little goals I could do, I rejoiced in.
Such small things we take for granted: opening and closing a car door, turning the key into a lock or even adjusting a seat belt (oh, that was a joy-and-a-half when driving a Camaro).
However, resuming work diminshed my capacity in some areas: i wasn't able to type as quickly as I used to and taking minutes was delegated to someone else who used a laptop ( was still old school and took minutes with my own form of short-hand back from the days of 'secretarial' courses...some of you may be old enough to remember that). But my wrist-hand coordination was fairly weak and strength training wouldn't happen until weeks later.
Many of my writing assignments and policy research projects were assigned to someone else; so my duties were now limited to general, clerical duties and provide admin support as needed.
No heavy lifting. No heavier responsibilities. No higher-level decision-making. It was starting to get frustrating, depressing and actually making me feel under-valued and under-utilized all in the name of "making things easier for me".
Shaleism #2: Sometimes resuming an activity doesn't mean it goes back to the way things were. It can often mean adjusting an activity to either downgrade or upgrade.
The question I had to ask myself was: Is what I'm doing now bringing me closer to where I want to be in my job? or letting me know I need to find something else more meaningful outside my career?
A return to a normal state of health, mind or strength. It is also defined as the act or process of regaining possession or control of something lost or stolen.
Do you realize we are thieves of time? We try to 'steal" time or capture moments lost but with futile results.
Time does not stand still for no one. It keeps going. Time is also equally allotted to every single person living on this earth. It's called 24-hours in a day.
If the average person aims to sleep 7-8 hours (or maybe less for those of you who struggle with insomnia), how are the rest of the hours used?
We can all tally our own schedule. For me, getting used to a 40-hour shift and getting up early to be ready for my ride to work at 6 a.m. proved difficult at times, but I made it work. Eventually, it got easier as the shoulder got more flexible, got stronger and was able to start lifting light weights.
Sometimes a recovery isn't welcomed. Sometimes it is a relief to return to a normal state of things. In a recent YT video of Tony Robbins I was viewing, he remarked: "Change is inevitable. It will happen. But are YOU making progress when that change happens?"
I had to think about that one carefully; many things changed at my workplace when i returned. earlier this year in January. Leadership that was there left unexpectedly, one person who was instrumental in helping our department make huge progressive steps informed us he was resigning - and this was the week I came back to work.
Other staff were leaving to seek out jobs elsewhere and the department manager finally resigned due to prolonged, ongoing health challenges. Out of 23 staff, 6 people left or resigned within the the first 3 months of the year.
After what was a 3-year mountain high of successful milestones, the department took a turn for the worse in a way. Remaining staff were left feeling uncertain. We had to get used to "interim" leaders assuming roles of responsibilities to manage our large staff.
Budget cuts to trainings we had been used to having were eliminated. Overtime had to be approved as no longer a flexible option. While we had the ability to work remotely 1-2x/week, it left the group still reeling from inevitable change of uncomfortable recovery with no sense of reassurance or stability.
We had no idea what was to happen next. What direction to take. How we were going to continue with the vision someone else had for our department but was no longer there?
We felt a bit lost, uneasy. I honestly felt angry, resentful and realized later (thanks to the guidance of Lisa Nichols, Dan Lok and Tony Robbins online presence and teachings) that in recovery there is discovery.
I had to acknowledge the reason I was angry was because my career expectations were no longer fulfilled or even considered. I was on my own to handle that. The "promises" made to me (albeit only verbally) were lost. Stolen. As a thief of time, I could no longer re-capture that or attain that goal because the reality was the support I thought I had from leadership was gone.
Things had changed. Expectations were different.
I had to recover from THAT. I had to reassess and take good, hard look at how things really were going in my job. And I didn't like what I saw. I didn't like being downgraded. I wasn't being optimized.
I had to take back control. I wasn't going to just lay down like a wilted piece of lettuce. I also didn't use my injury, chronic illness or age as an excuse. I had to renew my mind, channel my energy into laser-like focus.
This meant getting a better grip on my health, being more physically active not just physical therapy. I had to up my game there first, then mentally. It's a work in progress but I'm so much more happier now where I'm at than where I had been back in January.
I looked at all the work experience and skill-set I currently had and knew I had to start learning new things. I had to find out about how to make income online in my spare time. I needed to know what this market affliate concept was, and how to embrace new trainings on topics I didn't know about before like keyword searches, plug-ins and Google indexing. Sounded all Greek to me.
I also found renewed passion in my writing; years ago back in my 20s I had published a very short fictional story that was in an obscure Assembly of God junior high church newsletter. I got $50 for it. I had forgotten all about it because after that, I kept getting rejection letters after that with my other submissions. So i gave up for long time thinking it was just a passing phase.
But I never stopped writing. Never stopped journaling. So when I discovered blogging here...wow!
I know differently now being a member here at the WA site. I also know that progress is necessary for me to stay in motion on what is current, what are consumer demands now and how my business ideas can be revenue-generating options that can increase my income even while I sleep.
Do yourself a favor: take the time to relax your mind. Renew your spirit. Recover from loss with the discovery that you can always make the decision to progress in your endeavors or goals be it personal or professional.
Change is inevitable. It will happen. It cannot be stopped. What progress are you making with change?