Overachievement for beginners… :)

As we ramp up into spring (although it has already been spring in South Texas for the past 6 weeks, at least lol), my energy levels usually ramp up along with nature.  Well, 2017 was a fluke exception, but we just won’t talk about that.  😉  Typically, my energy waxes and wanes with the seasons; as the weather gets warmer and the days get longer, I find myself feeling like accomplishing more.  I decide to take on different day-projects like updating patient education handouts or revising lab test interpretation guides.  Sizzling stuff, I know.  But hey, it’s my (warped) idea of fun.

Last year (OK, I guess we are going to talk about it) was, as I mentioned, an exception to that rule, where I’d started to wind up and get going early on, only to be trounced by stress and tragedy and other annoyances like oppressive heat.  Oh, and my brain went away.  I’ve learned that you can’t function without those.  I’d been all excited to rev up and plunge in when I ran into the unexpected proverbial brick wall.

This year, hopefully, will be different.  I’ve had 2 new developments…

The first is that I’ve applied for admission into a Masters degree program in my field of study – nutrition and integrative medicine.  I just completed the second of 2 phone interviews (the first one being with my admissions advisor and this second one being with the director of the program), and I should hear word by early next week whether or not I’m accepted.  The good news is, the director with whom I spoke said that he didn’t see any reason why I wouldn’t be admitted, so the upcoming phone call/email will be a matter of technicality.  Score!

This might be the motivating factor, the kick in the pants I need to get my cognitive and motivational mojo back.  It might help me jump back into my game and provide me with some momentum.  I’ve found that it’s incredibly important for me to have something to look forward to.  And also some structure.  Structure helps.

The second development occurred last week.  I’d woken up with my usual trigger point-spurred cervicogenic headache; feeling those headaches in the morning does not bode well for the rest of the day, since these headaches typically tend to get worse for me as time goes on.  I had work to do, but my 2-gelcap dose of Advil wasn’t making much of a dent.  So, Mr Kitty said, “hey–our pharmacist friend/colleague stopped by with some samples of a new CBD oil he’s playing with”.  And knowing said pharmacist friend, it’s quality stuff, made to legal specifications that wouldn’t run afoul of any (draconian) laws.

So I tried it.  I didn’t have anything to lose, so why not?  I honestly didn’t expect it to do much for my pain, since if you know how trigger points work, the location of the source of the pain is not the same as where you feel the pain–and where you feel the pain isn’t where there’s any tissue injury.  Oh, and the trigger point itself doesn’t usually hurt much on its own; in fact, I only feel it when I or someone else applies direct pressure to it.

I’ll use my example: the pattern of this headache is that it snakes up the back and side of your neck, intensifying behind your ear, then looping around to your temple, where the pain concentrates again.  It’s sort of a walking cane-like pattern.  There is no inflammation in the local tissues, however; the pain is coming from somewhere else.  In the case of this particular pattern, the culprit is a little trigger point, about the size of a grain of uncooked short-grain rice, that resides in the upper trapezius muscle, where your shoulder comes in and meets the base of your neck.

So, given that, as I said, I didn’t expect the CBD oil to do much.  Well, I was right–it didn’t do much for the pain itself.  But it did do something that I had not expected…

I had dabbed a healthy dose on my skin at the base of my neck and also on my temple, first thing upon getting to the office, before meeting with my first patient of the day.  This particular appointment was one toward which I felt more than a little apprehension.  The only other time I’d seen them was to give them their report of findings, and they had complained about the financial aspect and postponed their first checkup and displayed a lot of obstinance and disagreeability.  And apparently they had a lot of questions (usually arguments disguised as questions in order to avoid taking responsibility for the stubbornness, which I don’t necessarily fault people for–it’s a common theme in human nature).

What would’ve been a 30-minute checkup had they followed my time interval recommendation swelled to 90 minutes, and we did end up covering a lot of good ground, rationally discussing a lot of excellent topics.  What was most interesting about this session was that, instead of feeling completely wiped out and cognitively/socially exhausted/fatigued, I felt…OK!  And when I learned that said patient was lamenting to our front desk assistant that the appointment had gone much longer than they thought it would, well, normally I would’ve taken it very personally and gotten all defensive (behind closed doors) because this is my passion after all, and although I’m not easily offended, this is one area that has shown itself to be an exception.

This time, however, I was actually able to just let it roll off.  I felt for the patient and their situation in an empathetic way–it’s not that I was heartless and uncaring–quite the opposite, actually.  But I was able to avoid letting it get to me and darken my mood and dampen my motivation and sap my mental strength and energy.

Not only did I not feel the all-too-recently-familiar overwhelming urge to go home and rest, I actually felt like going back into my office and…accomplishing stuff!  I interpreted a lab test and revamped a patient educational handout (!).

Score again!

Then I realized that this relaxed, non-anxious, constructive, motivated disposition might actually be an effect of…the CBD oil I used!  Turns out, I was right about that.  Might it be a key component to giving me back my mojo??

For fun, I decided to continue to use it through this last weekend (and I slept like a rock!) and also this week.  So far, I have made it through all of my patient appointments, conducted phone interviews and a counseling session, and even revamped some more patient education handouts.  I have actually felt like staying at the office beyond that which I need to, in order to actually Get Stuff Done.

Whoa, cool.

I figured I shared with you my darker times, so I’m sharing with you my sunnier times as well.  I like to be Fair ‘n Balanced and stuff…

Maybe, just maybe, 2018 is really turning out to be different (and thus, better) after all…

Oh, and I’ve been reading the Harry Potter series out loud to Mr Kitty, and we’re totally into it, like hard-core.  That helps, too.  😉

So, my recipe for getting going when you/I want to achieve stuff:

  • Have something to look forward to.
  • Use aids where needed, whether they’re herbs (like Eleuthero/Siberian Ginseng, which is next on my list to incorporate), Vitamins (like B-complex), minerals (like Magnesium), vaping (nicotine is a brain stimulant!  And the exhale is water vapor–clean and yummy), and…CBD oil (!) 😀
  • And read for pleasure, something new, something that has nothing to do with one’s daily activities, to add to the quality of life and make it more enjoyable.
  • I also make a to-do list and make a game with myself of trying to accomplish everything.  Not accomplishing everything does not lead to self-scolding, but rather, moving that task to the next day.  Accomplishing everything is awesome, and if I do, I mentally try on some items slated for the next day to see if maybe I can accomplish them, too.
  • Don’t expect too much of yourself or take on too much at once.  Don’t import other peoples’ troubles/problems into your own set; be concerned for them, sure, and be there for them when you can, but focus on your steps.

Motivation is tricky.  It’s either there, or it’s not.  And sometimes it’s not even that simple – I might be motivated to do one thing or one type of thing, but not another.  Some days are screw-it free days, for my mental health.  Some are social days, while some are hermit days.  Some days I might feel like revamping handouts, but not diving deep into something complexly analytical, and other days, it’s vice versa.  Some days are idea/brainstorming days, whereas others are better spent revising stuff I’ve already done/created and improving upon it.  Some days are list-making days, and other days are physical activity days, and still other days are, well, you get the point.  😉

I’ve learned long ago to Go With My Brain.  Whatever my brain is amenable to, that’s what I do.  It’s all gotta get done at some point, so I might as well work with the Mode my brain feels most comfortable in that day.

Getting started can be tougher yet.  If I’m not used to being mentally active at all, how do I get there?  I’m starting small.  Brainstorming for items to add to my to-do list and assigning days of the week on which I’ll work on (or even complete) them is a good first step for me.  Asking myself “do I really want to go home now, or is there something relatively quick or easy that I can get done first?” is another good step for me.  Setting deadlines for myself is another awesome strategy that has worked well for me; I don’t tend to miss deadlines.

I have to remind myself that I’m not going to be Cognitive Superwoman overnight.  But by attempting to make some kind of progress in some area, no matter how much or in which area, I can get there.  By working with my brain and its mood and energy level, that makes it easier.  By keeping myself properly nourished, with protein, fruits, and vegetables, and well-hydrated with fluids, I have a prayer of being able to think straight.  By not taking on too much at once, that makes it doable.  By keeping my to-do list readily at hand, I can stay on task, remain somewhat structured, and avoid forgetting important things.

We’ll see how all this works (or keeps working) In Real Life… 😉

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18 thoughts on “Overachievement for beginners… :)

  1. I’ve just stumbled over your blog and I’m so glad that I did! I absolutely love your writing style and the blog itself is STUNNING! Keep up the brilliant work because I can’t wait to read more posts from you! And HUGE congratulations on the masters application! I’m doing my undergraduate now!

    1. Oh wow, cool! Thanks! 😀 I really appreciate your kind words. I’m so excited for you! Congrats to you as well 🙂 Dang, you have a really nice blog, too! I love the way you have it set up – very crisp and organized and really appealing. You write superbly, too! Please feel free to have a look around – I’ve got about 540 posts spanning like 9 years (lol) and they cover a variety of topics. I’ll poke around yours too! Looks like a treasure trove – letters to your published self (awesome!) and zoning out in lectures (oh god(dess), how well I know that feeling!) 😀 I have the feeling I’m really going to enjoy your blog ❤

      1. I noticed how many posts you have!! It’s like it’s own little treasure trove! It must be so fascinating to look back over something you wrote 9 years ago! The other day, I found a blog I had set up nearly 2 years ago and I could already see how much I’d changed in that time from my writing so I can’t even imagine what 9 years must be like! I can only hope that I stick around as long as you have! Of course I’ll have poke around!! I’m so glad I’ve found such a wonderful blogger to follow!! 🙂

        1. Sweet! The feeling is very mutual 😀 Isn’t it FUN to look back and see how much you’ve changed, or that your life has changed? We never stop learning and growing and Going Through Stuff, do we? 😉 I left a comment for you on your “Already Outgrown My Name?” post – omg I laughed when I read “damn it, break time is exciting!!” – you have an *excellent* writing style yourself, and I love what I’ve seen of your posts so far 😀

          Hehe I’m sure most people thought this blog was dead for a while because I hadn’t written much in 2015 or even 2016, but I revived it around October 2016 and everything, and only in 2017-2018 has it begun to grow at all – it’s just sort of my Fun Space 😀 I use it for a sampling of stuff – information, theories, rants, opinions, interesting things I find or experience, collections of cool articles/blogs/blog posts, quotes, etc. Just, you know, a Big Miscellaneous Bin 😉 (lol) ❤ I'm poking around your blog, too! And I'm digging what I see 😀

          1. Thank you so much! I always love to hear that someone likes my writing style because it’s such a personal thing – I actually have your blog bookmarked now so whenever I get a spare 5 minutes, I will check out a post or two! I’m so glad you enjoyed my posts and I can’t wait to read more of yours!:)

            1. I do indeed! I think you’re hilarious! And also deeply thoughtful. It’s a really nice balance, and you strike it well 👍🏼. Thank you so much for bookmarking and reading my blog! I’ve done the same; my browser now predicts–and fills in the rest of the URL for–your blog as soon as I type “n” lol 😉💜

  2. Happy Flappy Dance and high fives and hugs and dark chocolate!!!!💃🎉🎊🍫😍😍 Awesome news! I’m soooo soooo happy for you Dearest Dude ❣❣
    Motivation is a tough one. I’m still working on that myself. I think I’d be doing better if A) the weather would cooperate…it’s either hot or raining WTF???.. and B) my family would give me some space… difficult when we’re all living together.
    Every day is a new opportunity so I’ll just keep on keeping on 😘👍💖🌻💖🌻💖🌻💖😎

    1. Thank you so much, Dearest Dude! Yes, yes, hugs and dark chocolate and high-fives all around! 👏🏼😍😎🎊🎉🍩(that’s the darkest chocolate emoji I could find lol) 😂

      Yeah, motivation is a biatch sometimes lol 😘. Some days I’ve got some–or even a lot; other days, it’s barely there at all lol. Weather is a big factor! 👏🏼👏🏼. Home environment and family dynamics are, too – they can sometimes make or break our energy levels 💗

      Yep, the best thing we can do is just take it one day at a time and just give that day what we got that day 👍🏼👍🏼👏🏼🌺☮🌟💪🏼🍀🍾🍻💝🌈🌸🌷🌴👯👌🏼

  3. Hello! Congratulations on happier times! And good for you on going on the Masters programme. I’m actually in the process of applying for a training course but I won’t know for some time if I’ve got it – I haven’t even sent the application yet. Although now I’ve mentioned it in public I have to do it!
    Glad you like Harry Potter. I’m over the hardcore phase, but I did live in that world for some time. I still like it and re-read the books from time to time. Do you have a favourite character? If so, who? (If you want to tell, if not no worries)
    (Sorry, no emojis, I have a new phone and haven’t installed the WP app yet.)

    1. Thank you, my lovely! 😁. Three cheers for happy times! I hope yours have been, too! 💗

      Yes, absolutely – send in the app; we’ll walk through our journeys together 😁👍🏼💖

      Omg Harry Potter is the bomb 🎉🎊. I’m reading the 6th book now, so I don’t know if I’ve met everybody yet or how everything turns out, but so far I like Hermione, Fred & George (😂😂), Dumbledore (of course), and Sirius the best. We’ll see if my answers change later 😉. Lol Fred and George made me laugh so hard!

      Congrats on your new phone! Do you like it so far? What’d you get? 😁🌺🌷

      1. The new phone was more out of necessity than desire – after my iphone completely broke down the second time, I thought it’s not worth it and bought a sim free handset. So now I have a type of Samsung Galaxy. It’s not as instantly likeable as the iphone, but it does everything I want it to do. Only problem is that the memory is tiny, you need to get an SD card to get any sort of decent storage space on it.
        Yeah, Harry Potter rules! My favourites are Professor Lupin and Neville.

        1. Oh man! I’m not a fan of the decline in function that tends to happen to iPhones. (Have you seen my story about the slow death of my iPhone 5? Lol 😂. It’s on here – about a year and a half ago(?) 😁). Mr Kitty has had a Samsung Galaxy for the past…4 years (?). Same one. He loves it, won’t go back to an iPhone. I guess the Galaxy is more customizable for his low vision 👍🏼. Lupin rules! I also love McGonagall, in both the books and the movies 😁. We just started the last book – I’m still holding out for Snape to turn out to be a misunderstood good guy after all; we shall see lol 😉😉💖

  4. Super fantastically cool you are getting your masters degree!!!!
    Super fantastically cool that cbd oil helped you!
    Yay! To find the moving forward and helpful things to get you there is so encouraging

    1. Awww, thank you so much, girl! 😍😍. It is indeed! And of course, I can’t help but babble on about it, just in case it helps somebody lol 😉. Actually, too, writing this stuff out serves as a good reminder to myself for days like these in which my brain gets fogged in and I accomplish nearly nothing LOLOL 😂😉😘❤️. Thank thank you for being at my side through my journey! 😍😍❣❣🌺

      1. We paid a nutritionist for a year to help us even though we know about nutritional STUFF but this was specific to our health issues, my muscle deterioration, my daughters gallbladder being removed. It was sooooo informative. Just so many ideas of immune builders. I mean way more info than what people assume like oh hey plan me a meal. No way it was so much more than that and i loved the balance of healthy fats and even things like collagen powder and spirulinna and monolaurin. Just stocked full of great info. So I am really excited for you.
        It’s funny because we told her right off the bat we don’t drink soda, don’t eat sugar, don’t eat fried foods, and only eat organic. She was like ummmm well that’s half the battle right there!
        I write this as I just ate some chocolate!
        I’m boycotting currently. It is organic chocolate though 🙂
        I made everything from scratch for a year. Some of our labs that were abnormal for years are finally normal so that was cool.
        Yep, you know I’m gonna ramble on your blog!!!! Cuz i’ve missed you!
        My husband has been gone for 2 months and I’ve been warding off a breakdown, not even kidding, but he is home now.
        I got accepted into a new study for my muscle disease so there are some good things on the forefront. He is now home too so that is good.
        I’m just so excited for your new path!!!

        1. You never cease to amaze me, girl! I love knowing how people are becoming so informed! 🤗. It’s exciting to hear 💓. Rambling is totally fine, luv! Please please feel free to do that whenever you like, freely and without restraint 😁💓💓. I’m so excited for your study! Will you let me know how it goes? 🤗. So relieved for you that your husband is home, too! Yay!! 🎊🎉❣😍

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