Monday, February 18, 2013

Health and happiness and some shit like that

puff balls

Lots has been happening the last month and year and, well, my whole life really and it's really had me considering the importance/non-importance of health and happiness and how those things really shape our (my) daily lives.

This is going to be one of those rambly long posts, the kind of writing that ambles about in the woods not really searching for a destination, but is really only looking at the trees and how tall they are and my gosh bark is crazy when you think about it and why are pine needles so different than leaves and squirrels are incredibly cute assholes.


Just like that.

As a follow up from my last post, I finally got in to see my primary care doctor at Kaiser and I can see why he's so hard to get an appointment with; the guy is a great doctor, just what you want in a doctor: firm but kind, asks lots of questions and actually listens to your answers and works to figure out how to make your feel better and/or ease your fears. I don't know the last time I had such a good experience with a doctor.

And he also addressed Dr. Bitchface and how she called me fat. He actually pulled out a chart and showed me where I fall on the scale of overall health and weight and showed me where most people are (Scary Land) and where I am (Not too bad at all). He encouraged me to exercise more, but said I'm actually in good shape and he's not worried about me.

pear shaped

Huge sigh of relief.

It's amazing how one person's, one expert's, opinion or reassurances can change your whole self perception. it's amazing how hearing you're doing a good job or you're not fucking up your life completely can make you feel better, can make getting through the rough shit easier.

Anyway, he ran a full blood panel and I go back in a couple weeks for imaging to see if I have any cysts or growths and then I follow up with him. Here's hoping.

It seems obvious that health and happiness go hand in hand, but I don't think most of us live that way. One is usually sacrificed for the other and it's rare that most people have even one. I always preach about balance and all that, but it doesn't always happen. I know that yoga or dance, etc., make me both physically and mentally happy, but when I can't afford classes, it's easier to just skip and say, "soon."

So what's more important? I'm not saying we just give up and I certainly try to find ways to exercise or whatever, but it's hard when you scrape by to do just what you live and the best things to be healthy and well.

And most of us don't live our dream lives, don't have the dream jobs and the dream houses and all those other accoutrements we pictured for ourselves. There's something to be said for being responsible and holding down that shitty job and smiling through the stress and paying rent on that crappy apartment, because that's adulthood and that's responsibility and that's just life.

I have nothing but respect for those who do what they have to. My dad always did and I'd like to think I do too.

Or maybe those things are easier if one just feels a little fulfilled by their work, feels accomplishment, feels appreciated and valued in what they do regardless if what they do is what they want or not. Just knowing you're important and valauable is enough to feel a little satisfaction.

But is that really happiness? Where does happiness come in? In this world of pleasures and art and beauty are we not the least bit deserving of some happiness? How do we make time for joy? Is that only a privilege of the rich? How else does one pursue their dreams if they don't have the resources to fund them?

le penseur

Or maybe that's only the life of Europeans. Maybe I have to live in Italy or Montmartre to have la belle vie.

I'd love nothing more than to abandon the 8 to 5, live that bohemian life, to spend my days making art, taking photos and painting and writing, traveling, eating and loving. But who can afford to do that?

They say money can't buy happiness, but it sure affords the time to pursue it. But maybe if I could afford all the time, I wouldn't appreciate what little there is.

Now, don't misunderstand. I've had my fair share of bold moves in the search for joy and I've had and do have joy, happiness, love. Hell, I quit my job and moved to another state without a job and without knowing more than 3 people there. And there are days when I get homesick and I question my decisions. Don't we all? But every move I've made, I've made for me and so that's gotta be good.


And this has been a big year too. Over a year ago, I wandered into a bar where I didn't know a soul, planted myself on a barstool, made new friends who would then introduce me to Eminem. I can't believe it's been a year. He and I are coming up on our anniversary in a couple weeks, counting of course from the night I took him home and not from our first date. Guess which came first?

Sometimes I think my whole purpose in life is to debunk ideas of appropriate female sexual behavior.

Anyway, we're coming up on a year and we're talking about getting a place together in the fall (damned budgets and leases) and I can say with absolute conviction that he makes me happy. Maybe that makes me a bad feminist or a bad therapy patient or something. Yes, no one else can *make* us happy, sure; we have to make ourselves happy. Blah blah blah. I can probably go back and link up all the posts where I've written just that.

But he does. He does. So there. Suck it, psychology.

There are a million little things that he does that make me happy. His existence in the world makes me happy. It makes me happy that he loves me and it makes me happy to love him. He appreciates me and who I am and that makes me happy too.

Rose Garden

Is this scary as shit? Fuck yes. Do I feel totally safe with him and therefore even more scared than one would think? Am I worried that it will all come crashing down and this huge bundle of happiness we have will all blow away? Absofuckinglutely. But the scariest things always feel the best, don't they? Hell yes they do. That's what's so awesome about it.

Because I'm happy and so it's worth it. Happiness. Funny thing, that.

And despite my doctor's lack of worry about my weight, the fact remains that I'm carrying more weight than I ever have and I'm pretty sure it's because I'm happy and in love. Literally fat and happy, if you will.

I can accept being curvier if I get love. Maybe I could also have a life full of art too? Is that asking too much?
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