I ought to get a massage.
That’s my mantra again Friday night and well into the graveyard hours of Saturday. Well, normally, that’s what I tell myself repeatedly when I drive myself to the point of exhaustion. It’s like an encouragement to something I would do in the future, a commitment if you will, when I am in between Points A and B and I couldn’t see how far off I am from B.
Curiously, I never find myself encouraging me this way when I am running or hiking, or participating in outdoor recreation. I deserve a massage normally sneaks into my internal dialogue when I’m stuck with paperwork, experiments, or anything that keeps me away from home way off hours because of an approaching deadline. There are telltale signs: my shoulders start cramping, my hands start getting tingly, and my back hurts for trying to maintain the right posture while sitting for long stretches of time.
The last time I heard myself justify a massage was back in 2008. I had been writing my PhD manuscript since December 2007; by the time June 2008 walked in, I was wishing that everything was already over. I’d contracted some infection that landed me in the emergency room in 2007; I looked pale, my eyes had perennial shadows under them, and I lost a few pounds in water weight. I hadn’t been in the salon for several months so my hair had grown up to my back and the make-up artist from Clinique was concerned about the state of skin (she dolled me up for a feature in Sense&Style that year). When I finally handed my manuscript over to the reviewers in September 2008, my academic supervisor lectured to me about writing your PhD manuscript is like a terminal illness. Trust me, in those last few days before deadline, I was thinking I was ready to die after submitting my manuscript (I’m lucky I didn’t because a few months after the submission came the review). I was truly on my last legs back then.
Have I actually gone to the spa to get a massage? Not yet. Not after my PhD phase had ended; and not yet now. After getting home from the University, I felt myself loads lighter, no longer burdened with the looming deadline. And now, I just don’t have the spare time. I’ll probably do it when I finish up early.
Here I go again…