Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Back Pain

Last week I spent 3 days at home, recovering from a strained back muscle caused by digging at my back yard on Tuesday evening. The pain and discomfort prevented me from going to the office so I did my work at home, not declaring sick leave although I did spend a couple of hours going to the doctor and buying medicine on Wednesday, the day after the incident.  It was a significant week in spite of my pain because we were supposed to go live in a project where I am still an analyst; but due to data discrepancy, the go live had to be postponed to the 2nd week of August. Originally the next date was in September under the assumption that most of the people in the France will be in their usual August vacation but it turned out there will be support during the month; a few members of the team went on vacation early so there will be people present to assist.  By Friday, the problem was addressed so everyone’s holiday was safe. An office wit remarked that threatening a Frenchman’s vacation will surely bring action.

Due to my injury, I got contractors to complete the work in my back yard during the week end; a crew of three people came over to lay down the tiles. But the ground was not leveled as I wanted and, instead, bought more sand to level the uneven earth, before laying the paver blocks and the red concrete tiles. The work was finally completed early Saturday afternoon after so many months delay due to the rain and my procrastination. Now I can play golf although I just bought a pergola and I plan to create a round flower bed with tiles with the help of the crew again. Last week, we also changed our cable to AT & T so quite a few changes: project done, garden tile project done, cable changed and a few improvement at home. Tomorrow I will have a standing desk by raising the surface of my primary work area so my work methods will surely change; standing while working will hopefully keep me alert and active. Some famous writers like Hemingway, Philip Roth and Churchill often work standing up; it is also expected to help me lose weight.

I will try visual thinking to jumpstart my novel, researching and watching video called visual thinking for writers, with the use of white boards and standing easel, techniques like mind-mapping and drawing will hopefully help me be more rational and less emotional when writing. As one of the speaker said, visual thinking gives you space to observe artifacts like drawing or index cards that one can arrange ideas or scenes in a novel, to distance oneself from the work. This maybe my last chance to be a serious novelist, having tried all sort of things, attending workshops and reading how-to books from famous writers. Now all the advice is passing me by. In a way, I am creating a new me, with my CPAP machine, my workout in the morning, my new job, new garden area, hiking and so on that it’s like becoming a new me. I have even tried Kundalini yoga in the weekend, a practice I intend to do regularly. I recall a sculpture who practice Tai Chi before doing work, to calm the mind and increase focus. Maybe that is the missing link, perhaps like Murakami running as a form of exercise.

Journal writing is also a form of meditation, as one tries to focus on one activity, that it becomes an entrance to creativity. I book I browsed this weekend spoke about doing a visual journal, anf one follows this activity by reflection and writing.

1 comment:

Johna Mccaa said...

I, too, have back pains; mostly from the computer posture at the office! No matter how aware I am at the right posture, when you I got too absorbed with work loads and writing, it's easier to shift and turn at your seat and don't notice how improper your sitting posture. Back pains caused me to go on chiropractic sessions for relief.
Johna @