Holistic Headache

This morning, I woke up feeling like absolute dog shit.

I rolled into the shower, my head throbbing with an emerging headache, before climbing back into bed, only to snap awake 30 minutes later (now running late) still feeling like absolute dog shit.

Once I arrived at work, half alive, I had the insight to check the sleep tracker on my Fitbit to see if my sleep quality (or lack thereof) was the culprit, as it often is.


Below the graph of my measly six hours and twenty-three minutes of sleep, a small note read:

“Sleep Insights
Alcohol has a negative impact on the amount of REM sleep you get. That sleep stage that helps regulate your mood, so if you feel irritable after a night of drinking, it could be due to a lack of REM.”

What the hell? I was definitely irritable but also I had definitely not drank the night before. Now I was irritable at my Fitbit for suggesting this. Like, thanks for thinking that there was a cause for this madness, but NOPE. I JUST GET SHITTY SLEEP ON MY OWN. I checked my REM sleep for backup. 26 minutes. No wonder I felt like dog shit.

It’s not like I don’t try. The current book I’m reading is about how to better your sleep (although the first few chapters circulate around just how bad bad sleep is for you, which is stressing me out more).  In fact, I’m a little obsessed with the idea of holistic care overall; organization, productivity, clean design and layouts, yadda yadda. I can get lost for hours looking at pictures of people who seem to emanate this perfect harmony of balance; you know the ones I’m talking about – the overhead pictures of a laptop, angled perfectly in the upper right hand corner, two notebooks and an agenda sprawled out beneath with the calendar page opened to reveal a list of tasks inked in perfect penmanship, adorned with checks and circles of goals and their completion. There might be a plant or a cup of coffee on the left. Probably an acai bowl in the middle. These objects are laid over smooth wood or a fuzzy white carpet. The caption probably reads: “Just got back from my 5 mile run and feeling great about the day! The sun is shining, the day is fresh, and I’m taking a moment to reflect in the glow of the morning and write a short post before I stretch and enjoy this healthy acai bowl with chia seeds and cacao nibs. I hope you all have a productive day!”

I hate these bitches.

I hate these bitches because I so badly want to be these bitches. I want to feel alive and calm and at peaceful at 7:00 am, a run tucked under my belt, writing and reflecting on the day ahead of me. I want a agenda full of small tasks that are manageable, feeling focused and driven the entire day until I collapse into my papasan chair at 8 pm, dressed in knee socks and a large sweater, clutching a cup of tea and my kindle, settling gently into the evening before I pick back up the next day and successfully do it all over again.

Is anyone actually like this?

Most days I wake up disgruntled and exhausted, brow deeply furrowed and furthering the development of a permanent eleven wrinkle centered on my forehead as my eyes attempt to adjust to the light. Forget working out. I’ve tried to work out in the morning. I can’t do it. Even if I can pull myself out of bed (rare), I don’t have the energy or the motivation to actually put myself through exerting my body. Nope. No way, no how. Instead I take a ten minute shower and then crawl back in bed, begrudgingly preparing myself to have to face the day ahead of me.

I do have an agenda and notebooks, and when I get to work I like to pull them out and slide them across my desk. I have about a million notebooks; every time I see an attractive one, I buy it with the mentality of: “This is it. This is the notebook that will change my life. It’s going to organize me. I will doodle in it and journal in it and feel so good and full about my life. It will be inspiring and wholesome.”

My notebooks are never life-changing, inspiring nor wholesome. They are dusty. I have an entire drawer dedicated to them. I was talking to a co-worker once about how I purchased another notebook and she turned to me, eyes wide and stern and said: “You have a problem.”

I leaf through my agenda and often don’t have tasks to fill it with. Any work I have is typically scattered in sticky notes around my desk, and my personal tasks are either so habitual (going grocery shopping on Monday at lunch) or so individualized (HH on this day or that day) that there’s no need to create a complete, extensive checklist. Plus my penmanship is also dog shit.

As you can see, there’s an emerging theme here.

Every so often I try to reconfigure my diet, my exercise plan, my budget, just for the semblance of productivity. It never sticks, nor does the feeling that radiates from those crisp, high resolution pictures of organized people. I wonder if it’s a mirage. I wonder how stressed out Joanna Gaines actually is underneath her perfected demeanor. I wonder if I will ever at the least, be able to fool anyone into thinking that I am nourished in every realm of my life. I wonder if I ever will personally feel as if I am nourished in every realm in my life.

Until then, I will probably keep aiming to figure out how to make the world believe I am as organized as the bitches in those pictures; a holistic illusion to mask the cacophonous headache that is my reality.


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