For much of the past week, I’ve been dwelling on all of the things that I ought to be doing around the house. I’m not incredibly fond of anything that has to do with cleaning, and my natural inclination is to ignore things until they’re so unbearable that they simply cannot be ignored any longer… which if you have a lick of common sense and/or you read any literature about the best ways to achieve a clean and organized home… This falls under the category of you’re doing it wrong.
This is how the bathroom got as bad as it was… I can’t remember exactly when the last time the bathroom got cleaned, but it was a long time ago.
After finishing an organizing project of the toiletries and James scrubbed down the surface behind the tub… it was my turn. I needed to clean the tub and wash the floor. I spent all weekend trying to gear myself up to do this, and finally on Sunday evening I tripped across a blog entry, How To Be More Productive & Have More ‘You Time’ and was all like, “YEAH! LET’S BE PRODUCTIVE!”
I sat down and made a list of things I wanted to accomplish that evening. Vacuum the bathroom, mop the bathroom… and a few fun things like do 30 minutes of yoga, write a blog entry, read a chapter in my book, write 3 pages in my journal and a handful of other nice to do things. And when I was done with my list? I got up and got started on the bathroom.
I dragged the shelving unit, trash can and cat box into the kitchen and I vacuumed up all the surface dirt in the bathroom and was feeling pretty accomplished with myself, and then horror struck…. As I crouched down to wrap the power cord around the vacuum, my lower back seized up in pain and nearly knocked the wind right out of me.
My initial reaction was to get really upset. It hurt so bad I was practically crying, and worse here I was in pain and the only thing I could get crossed off on the cleaning list was that I tore apart and vacuumed the bathroom. I wanted to do the whole bathroom! It so wasn’t fair! I texted James to whine. I sat in my chair and sulked.
Now, this spasm thing isn’t terribly new… It’s been going on for a couple of months now, it isn’t an all the time thing but every so often, I bend the wrong way doing something totally normal and suddenly I’m in pain. From what I’ve figured out with one of my yoga instructors, it’s less my back that’s the issue and more the fact that my iliotibial (IT) band is abnormally tight and prone to spasm and problems there seem to set off a chain reaction into my back. So, it’s not like I seriously injured myself… I just had a tight muscle that I needed to try and get to relax… and the best thing to do that is to do some yoga.
I’ve been loving some of the free videos at DoYogaWithMe.com recently, so I turned to there. I settled on the video that’s probably become my favorite… Burnout to Bliss. It’s a wonderful, slow paced video where the first 15 minutes or so are just lying on the floor focusing on breathing…. which is pretty much the only way I can start out a yoga practice at home, otherwise I just don’t end up feeling grounded AT ALL. I didn’t end up making it the whole way through the video, I dropped off at about 41 minutes (this doesn’t seem to be unusual for me… I have a hard time doing a full video when I’m at home) but I felt SO much better having took that time to just ground myself and de-stress, and doing some stretching and relaxing made my back feel better too.
It wasn’t 100% better, but it was better enough to get back in that bathroom and get the room mopped! Then after James got home from work, he helped me put everything back in the room and we changed out his old shower curtain for my fabric one, and then we called the bathroom done!
Looking back on how yesterday evening went down, I feel particularly proud of how I ended up choosing to handle myself. All to often, I let something like a spasming muscle be an excuse to just sit on my butt in front of the computer and wallow and feel bad for myself. It’s at times like these that I’m really grateful for the mindfulness that yoga has brought into my life. I took a time out, wallowed for about 15 minutes and then took the time for myself to relax…. and you know what? I ended up getting that task done that I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to. To me, that’s truly an amazing feat!