Day 10: Look Up

I’ve been having neck and back issues for almost a decade now. I started going to our chiropractor friend this month in the hopes of easing my everyday pain. He took some X-Rays and in our last session we went over them. One thing he was concerned about was the way my neck curved opposite to what it should be. He said it is most likely from looking down too much over the years. He said we can do adjustments but if I didn’t change the way I did certain things then in 5-10 years it would be past the point of repair due to bone spurs and other issues. That freaked me out a bit. I had no idea my neck was so messed up. I always thought my lower back was the worst of it.

After hearing his advice, I started thinking about all the times I look down throughout a normal day; I look down when I’m walking so I don’t trip and I take an average of 10k steps in a day, I look down when I’m writing at my desk and half the time while I’m typing for work and I work 8 hours a day, I look down whenever I look at my phone, I look down for an hour before bed while reading. I realized that I spent a good majority of my day looking down! But how do I change that? Today, I had to keep reminding myself to look up while I walked, even if it felt uncomfortable to not watch where I stepped. I propped up my papers while I typed so I didn’t have to look down to enter the information. I feel like there’s really nothing I can do for writing at my desk. I can’t hold paper up and write at the level. I am consciously making the choice to not check my phone so much and when I do to hold it up at eye level like a weirdo. Last night while reading in bed I tried propping my book up on my bent knees so I wasn’t looking down but that wasn’t comfortable or relaxing. I thought about laying down and holding it up to read, but reading makes me sleepy and I’m worried if I drop Outlander 4 on my nose it’ll break it. I’m probably going to have to get creative with that one, because you know I’m not going to quit reading, even if I become a hunchback!

For sleeping he gave me a special thereputic pillow. He said I would most likely hate it for two weeks but then I’ll love it. He wasn’t entirely wrong. Maybe it’s just so different from the pillows I’m used to sleeping on, but I’m hopeful and optimistic it helps.

Just another brick laid in my road to a better and healthier me, I guess. I have a one year care plan set up to go twice a week for twelve weeks, then once a week for twelve weeks, then every other week, and then eventually down to once a month that I can maintain. He said it’s the equivalent to getting back in shape. You can’t work out once a month and hope to get fit again.

Anyway, I’m going to get back to finding a new comfortable reading position where I won’t be looking down. If you have any suggestions please let me know!

Being told I look down too much also made me think of it from a spiritual point of view as well. All this time I’m looking at my feet while I walk, at my desk while I work, at my phone, there is a big beautiful world happening all around me. If I don’t look up more I just might miss it. I’ve had a lot of little reminders to be present in the moment and not get distracted by things. This was just another one of those. I feel like God’s trying to tell me something here.

Being told to look up more also reminded me of one of my favorite Miranda Lambert songs, Virginia Bluebell with the wonderful line, “pretty little thing, sometimes you gotta look up and let the world see all the beauty that you’re made of, cuz the way you hang your head nobody can tell, you’re my Virginia Bluebell. Give it a listen. It’s beautiful.

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