The Real World

As most of you know, I regularly have bouts of insomnia.  When I was in Taiwan, I slept easily (except on the plane).  I would be reading and before I know it, I was asleep.  J would wake me up and then I would put away my eye glass and crawled under the blankets.  It did take a bit of time to get used to sleeping in different beds.  But it was a lot shorter than I thought.

Now that I’m back, my insomnia is starting to intrude.  Last night, I chatted (via WhatsApp) with my cousin who lives out in the west coast.  We haven’t chatted in ages and in fact haven’t seen each other for years.  He has a wicked sense of humour and a caring heart.  He asked when I was coming out to visit him.  So maybe next year I’ll head out to LA.  Should I rent a car?  I’m terrified of the traffic in LA.  But we’ll see.  I need to get through this year first.

Before I went to Taiwan, I had a back problem and was seeing a chiropractor right up to the date of departure.  I stretched and did exercises while I was there.  My back was sore but I think it was because I was carrying a camera bag (messenger style – about 10 to 12 lbs).  After a few weeks, I carried my camera in my knapsack surrounded by a towel.

Now that I’m back home, my back is starting to act up.  The other day, I was in pain and had a lot of problems getting off the couch.  Yes – I think sitting down is a huge part of the problem.  In Taiwan, we were mobile most of the time.

I’m sure stress is contributing to this.  If I quit work, the work place stress will be replaced by a different type of stress.  So I’m trying different ways to deal with it.   We’ll see if that works.  But I need to find a more effective way of dealing with it.


27 thoughts on “The Real World

  1. Sorry to hear about this, Matt. So you’re saying that whilst in Taiwan (on a real holiday) you didn’t have any of these problems? Is there some way you can implement the stuff you did in Taiwan with your life now?

    • I guess I need some cute Taiwanese guy(s) to look at every day.

      Ok – on a serious note, I think I need to figure out a way to manage the stress better. It’s not going away so I have to deal with it.

  2. Hey Matt, it’s been a long long time, hasn’t it?! I hope you are doing well and continuing to take care of yourself. You are right in that, moving around with such a heavy messenger bag might be part of the reason why you’re experiencing orthopaedic pain.

    With regards to the LA traffic, I’m not sure what it’s like to drive in your current place of residence, but if you are sensitive to stress like myself.. I’d suggest hiring a taxi driver just to make things easier. It’s a few hundred dollars out of your pocket for the good of your long-term mental, and physical health.

    • Kevin! It has been awhile and I hope you’re keeping well. Yeah, that messenger bag was good for a few days and then afterwards, it felt like I was lugging a 50″ TV. As for LA, I knew it was spread out but I never really looked at it on a map until recently. Traffic here can be a bit crazy sometimes. People get impatient easily.

  3. Are you taking proper breaks during your work day and following ergonomic form? Your back ache could also be due to uncomfortable positions while you work.

      • Last year I made the plunge and spent about $300 on an ergonomic chair. Considering that I spend more time in it than any other furniture, I found it to be a worthy investment. I also got a footrest and my setup has a bluetooth mouse and keyboard to use with my laptop that’s perched on a stack of books so it’s eye level. It took a long time to recognize modifications that can be done, but if you design your desk setup right, you won’t have to think about your posture so much.

  4. Hmm with regards to the sitting aspect, please pay attention to your posture and seating position. I know, easier said than done, but a physiotherapist taught me the right way to sit once and it’s helped so much. I wish I could see you face to face to show you cause it’s hard to describe but I’ll do my best. Basically it’s the fact that most of us don’t really sit on our sit bone which causes a lot of tension on the back. I’ll see if I can find any good YouTube videos to explain this. As for the stress, not sure what to recommend that I haven’t recommended before but hope you’ll find a way to manage. 🙂

    • I have to check my posture and position frequently as I seem to get into poor positions frequently. I’ll also need a new chair as the one I have is pretty old. I do take breaks to do some stretching, my chiropractor told me to get off my butt.

  5. I used to have back problems and would throw out my back whenever I carried heavy stuff. I think doing yoga on a regular basis has helped my back muscles, and also helped me relieve stress mentally. I would recommend that if you’re up for it 🙂 Good luck with it, hope it gets better!

  6. Having lived in CA for years…I love the beautiful scenery and the people…the driving and traffic not so much. 😦 It is ack-y! 😦
    Sorry to hear about your insomnia (and back problems), Matt. 😦 Both must be so tiring and frustrating.
    Other than finding ways to relieve stress (like meditation, exercise, sex, etc.) and having a consistent bedtime routine, I don’t know what else might help.
    Hope you find the ways that work for you and help you!

  7. It does sound like a lot of your health issues are stress related. What helped me a lot with back problems was going to a physiotherapy and learning a few simple exercises. That helped a lot.

  8. i’m so sorry to hear of this, matt. but to learn that you didn’t have as much problem when you were in taiwan only to suggest that it MUST BE stress related. traveling tends to help in releasing stress and allows the mind to ease up more than usual. now that you’re back, it could very well be being in an environment that is ‘work’ related that brought about the old mood, hence contributing to stress to your mental state of mind. yes, do try to find ways to reduce the stress mood in your life. maybe including an activity weekly that has nothing to do with work? something as easy as light/short trek somewhere at an outdoor place and include some casual photography?

    • It’s hard to find free time because of the work hours. Today around 5:30PM, my last meeting finished The sales rep told us that the client needs a proposal on Monday. So we’ll be sent a draft copy on Saturday night to review. On Sunday, we’ll meet to discuss and finalize it for Monday.

      But yeah, I do want to get back to photography and do more writing.

      • geez, weekends too? sigh…
        yes, i think it would do you good if you could get back to photography from time to time.

  9. Keep up with those stretches and exercises that your physiotherapist taught you — they really help. I use a little ice (you can get a gel pack and keep it in the freezer when you’re not using it) after, and it really seems to help settle down any inflammation. Take care, and enjoy life!

    • I have those gel packs that I use on my foot (I have many issues). I’m nervous about putting it on my back, I’ll probably cringe and tense up just anticipating the cold. But I am doing those stretching and exercises even though they can be a pain.

  10. Bring some Taiwan home. Also, the traffic in LA is heavy at times, but the driving is not too bad. They drive fast, but know how to drive. I’m more scared to drive here in Colorado where there are tons of Cali, Texas, and other midwest transplants. I’ve been to LA 3 times.

      • Lol. I wonder how people dodge speeding tickets seemingly easily, while I get caught often. Is it because my car isn’t “that” fast or expensive? I spent the last 3 years waiting for my two tickets to fall off, finally January is here almost, and I got another one. Terrible!

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