For me, life is more manageable if I think of each moment as a choice. This is a phrase I say to myself on a daily basis. When you break choices down into moments, it’s helpful: rather than thinking, “I need to eat healthy for the rest of my life,” think, “I need to eat healthy right now.” Pause, notice there’s a choice to be made, and make it to benefit yourself and others in that instant. As we all know, there’s the opposite of that: we can make choices that are detrimental to ourselves and others where we aren’t pausing at all, we’re just reacting and acting/thinking out of habit.
Fortunately for us, at this moment, I’m writing from a more humbled place and a more enlightened place (if I’d written this blog three days ago, I don’t think I would’ve had any insight). Each choice we make whether it’s what we say, think, or do leads to the next. The easiest way to illustrate this theory is to share my choices over the weekend:
Choice #1: cooking a meal with kale (which according to my food allergy blood work, I’m moderately allergic to). I figured kale’s one of those superfoods you hear about, so I should try out a new recipe and ignore any scientific evidence I had to the contrary.
Choice #2: drinking tequila with my kale meal (I will not reveal how much because you’re not here to ask me).
Choice #3: waking up the following morning to notice a couple red bumps on my arms, writing them off as bug bites, and then working out only to notice more red bumps starting to form.
Choice #4: around 12pm I frantically searched for pictures online because those red bumps looked something like hives I thought. Oh yes, I definitely had an allergic reaction to whatever I ate/drank.
Choice #5: after confirming with the reliable information online and a pharmacist at CVS, it was a self-diagnosed definite: I had hives. I picked up some Benedryl based on a scene from the movie Hitch with Will Smith where he breaks out after an allergic reaction to shellfish, and I was on my way to a bachelorette party.
Choice #6: (keep in mind for choice #6 that I know I have hives, and I know drinking was part of the problem in the first place) I attended the bachelorette party that night, went against all better judgement, drank, ate fried food, and danced with a blue feather boa as a prop (that I must say, was a good choice).
After six choices, one leading into the next, I woke up red, blotchy, itchy, and I’m still miserable three days later. Notice there were six moments where I had a choice, such as every moment in life: I could choose to take care of myself and do what will benefit me or I could choose to ignore anything I’ve learned and fall back into old patterns of laziness, unconsciousness, and habit. I chose the later.
At this point, all I can do is hydrate, avoid itching, be patient, and learn from my hives. I could beat myself up for the choices I made or be grateful for these dreadful hives and use my choices as a lesson for the future. It’s my choice in this moment after all. I’d love to hear from anyone about any choices you’ve made whether good or bad, wrong or right, and how they turned out, help me feel less alone in my choices…
Renee Nemmers is the office manager at Longevity Physical Therapy in Encinitas and also works as an aide. If you would like to learn more about her, check out her bio here