It seems that the health care debate has become older news and maybe I missed my chance to write about it.  But, I have something to say.

From what I have gathered (in a very hodge-podge way), those who are opposed to Obamacare say that they don’t want anyone forcing them to buy anything they don’t want to buy.  Those who are most passionately for Obamacare seem to have loved ones with a chronic illness or serious “pre-existing” condition for which they will now be able to have and be able to afford health insurance.  This is my broad generalization.  Obviously, there are many complex layers in the middle and all around.

But, I guess what has been on my mind regarding the whole thing is…do people (in the U.S.) really care about their health as much as they care about this health care legislation?

Is the church speaking out for the enormous number of overweight, over-stressed, and uncomfortable parishoners and pastors to drink more water, go for walks, relax, and eat better?  Are any of us willing to care and advocate for each other enough to say; you look like you don’t feel well at all.  How can I help?  You really deserve to feel better.

I think that for most of us feeling better wouldn’t require any health insurance at all.  I will speak for myself.   I don’t have any chronic disease, cancer, or major life illness.  Thank God. I am SO grateful that feeling better doesn’t require a trip to a doctor or the hospital.  But, it does require ME to be about taking care of myself.  And despite being a caring and compassionate person, I am not so good at this.

Last week I did not feel right.  I was irritable.  I had a canker sore, or something like that, in my mouth that really hurt.  I had a dull headache ALL. THE. TIME.  I could not sleep at night.  My insomnia wasn’t due to a sick child or even that I couldn’t turn my brain off.  It was like I had forgotten how to sleep.  And then just to add a boost to my complaints I stubbed my pinky-toe VERY hard on Dinah’s toy at 5:30a.m. as I was convincing myself to go for a run.  ugh.  I was exhausted and felt like I needed to go in for a complete oil change where they top off all your fluid levels, check your wipers, and vacuum the floor even.

I knew that there wasn’t anything really wrong with me.  I was stressed.  I don’t mean to say “that’s it”, but seriously that is it.  I wasn’t taking care of myself and my body was just absorbing the stress like a dry sponge and filling in all of the corners of my body with stress.  Blugh.

You might be compelled to offer me comfort and rationale for my stress as I am a stay at home mom with a 15 month old daughter and a husband who works way too much.  While this rationale is true it isn’t helpful for me to feel better.  What is helpful for me is to say to myself, “Rachel, you have a lot of stress in your life so now especially you have to get exercise daily, drink water, pray, do yoga.  How can I make this happen?”  I felt so tired I just didn’t even know where or how to start taking care of myself.  I wanted someone to take care of me!

I don’t think I am unique.  I am not throwing a pity party for myself.  I think I’m joining the choir of others who are also exhausted, stressed, and overwhelmed by the prospect of having to take care of myself better.

I think another big problem for me is that I have some shame about the fact that I don’t feel great.  I am embarrassed that I haven’t been keeping myself together.  I would like to blame it on something like my thyroid, my not-so-new-child, our move to Illinois, blah, blah, blah…  Whatever.  I don’t feel great because I have not made the time to care about my health.  I get stuck in my head that I need at least an hour to do yoga.  I need 30 minutes to pray & meditate.  I need to sleep for 8+ hours a night.  I need really beautiful food to eat better.

or not?

I am committing to do 10 minutes of yoga a day.  I set the timer on my phone. It is short but feels a whole lot better than checking facebook for 10 minutes.

Then I sit for 3 minutes (reset ye olde phone)  with my eyes closed and pray, meditate, just generally shut up and ease my busy mind.

I am starting to run again.  I used to train for 1/2 marathons all the time and in my mind I should to be able to go run a 10k and have it feel awesome.  In my body it feels horrible.  So, I’m recognizing the fact that I am starting over as a brand new runner.  I’m returning to the run 4 minutes/walk 1 minute training plan.  It feels so much better.

I don’t always know how to support those I love who seem to feel like crap.  I imagine they have some shame about it, like I do.  What has inspired me  is seeing other people who feel great and being brave enough to say – I want to feel GREAT too.  When I feel inspired, that spirit of hope and possibility take hold of my mind, I automatically drop the shame and get moving.

So, what is inspiring me these days?  A picture of a woman doing yoga with a prosthetic leg.  Yes, it is an ad for a Manduka yoga mat; and a darn good advertisement it is.  It says across the top, “I didn’t think I was a person who could practice yoga.”  I wish I was so blogger savvy that I could figure out how to link to it.

I have said more than I even knew I had in me to say.  You get the point.  I get the point.  So, off of this computer for me…

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