Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Stuff! And More Stuff!

I haven't posted in forever. I have not been writing. I haven't even been reading. What have I been doing?

Working.

And working some more.

Winter is the busy season at Outdoor Rec. We rent ski and snowboard equipment, as well as leading ski/snowboard trips every weekend. So it's "all hands on deck" some days of the week.

Three of my coworkers took vacation time over the holidays. At one point, that left 2 of us to work the front, 1 trip leader/maintenance guy/viking, and the managers. We had the boss's boss coming in to help out a few times.

My point in all this, is that this period just ended. The vacation period, anyway. Everyone is back to work, and after working 8 days in a row (some half days, but still), I finally got some time off. I've been having migraines, but I'm starting to think they are associated with work and the stress of this season. And the fluorescent lights. When I get a couple days off, I feel so much better.

What did I do with 2 days off in the middle of the week? Well, I had some important shopping to do, I vacuumed most of the house, did some mending, and some general cleaning up. Some time was spent relaxing and zoning out on Facebook. Lots of time was spent drinking hot beverages.

So in the time since I last posted...which I don't even remember...we celebrated our 1 year anniversary of living in Italy by working. Both of us that day.

We didn't go anywhere for Christmas or New Year's. We stayed home like old fuddy-duddies. But we didn't need to go anywhere over the holidays. We have a big vacation coming up.

Like, HUGE.

Like, 19,341 feet huge. Or 5,895 meters, however you want to look at it.

To prepare for this huge adventure, there is gear to be purchased, and trails to be trod. There is training to be done, and many other little things, including working on my health.

I mentioned migraines, which I think are associated with stress right now. Zomig is working most days, and fioricet helps when zomig doesn't, but the old head is still fighting me. I've been seeing a pretty good doc here that I will keep up with.

J and I get to the gym for strength training at least once a week, but usually 2. I can actually see a difference in my upper arms, and definitely in my legs.

For both the body and the mind, I've been getting regular massages. My friend here is a licensed massage therapist, who does massages from her home to keep in practice, and just because she loves what she does. She is working with me to reduce the amount of knots I have. And I have plenty.

Katie, my masseuse, uses essential oils. She uses coconut oil while massaging, which is one of the preferred oils for diluting essential oils. It works perfectly together. She has this vision of people who use natural methods of stress reduction and health boosting in between sessions to improve their own lives. I volunteered to be one of her guinea pigs. I buy and use essential oils, and she gives me regular massages.

I had started getting into essential oils a few years ago. I make my own spray for bug bites. I made a spray to clean my yoga mat. I like the whole idea, so it wasn't too hard to sell me on it.

I'm not going to even tell you what brand of oils I'm buying, because I'm not trying to sell anything to you. I'm trying to keep a journal of what I'm doing and see if I can track improvement, or at least keep note of what works and what doesn't.

So far, there are some good oil blends for tension headaches, which helps me somewhat, and sore muscles. Oh, I love the muscle rub. I have it already mixed in a lotion. I keep it in my gym bag and rub some on my sore spots after a workout. I also found that frankincense oil works well if I have tight muscles. I still have other oils to try for other things. I need more time to read up on them all!

Of course, being who I am, I have already done research on essential oils, and how NOT to use them. I'm careful with my usage, so no one worry. However, if you know of a useful oil concoction, please share it with me!

So far, with the oils and massage, the tension I have ALWAYS carried in my neck and shoulders is easing. The shoulders don't have as many knots, and the neck doesn't always make Katie comment about whiplash (which I've never had). My legs have been pretty tight lately, which tells me I need to stretch more often. And now my forearms have been getting all knotted up. No idea on that one.

I'll keep up with it and see if we can note some more improvement.

I swear, some day, I will have an actual theme for this blog and not just my inane ramblings.