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Jul
9
2013

Massage Wisdom (Part 1 of 2)

in Life Lessons, Parenting, Random Musings, Time Management

foot flower

Photo by bigevil600 on www.sxc.hu

Tuesday night I treated myself to a much-needed massage. Between three kids, a full-time writing career, normal household necessities, and a husband who is prepping for another week awake… my stress level frequently gets out of control just like everyone else’s.

What I received from this masseuse was way beyond tension release. Thirteen years of massage wisdom poured from his lips and helped me realize that I am not alone in my need (and constant failure) to juggle it all.

As I sat in the waiting area, a big guy walked down the hall with a smile that matched his frame. “Hi, I’m Mike,” he said with an extended hand. I shook it and we immediately went into the “what can I do for you?” consultation.

I told him what I do and where the stress is and he verified that I understood what was involved in a deep tissue massage. Once the massage started he asked about my writing. When I told him that I primarily write for women (romance, columns, essays, books, short stories, and mommy stories) he started sharing some of the wisdom he has gained about women over the years. I think is information was dead-on.

The plight of women

Through the generations, women have steadily taken on more of the load. We started with the household chores and childrearing. In times of war, women stepped up and started being the breadwinners while their spouses were fighting for our freedom. They did this while still maintaining the home and kids. Then the soldiers came home.

It wouldn’t be long before women would decided they wanted more than to be locked inside a kitchen. Thus women’s lib was born. Over the years that has gotten women into more and more areas of the workforce. But that original house and home demand never left.

We also make more demands of our kids than we ever have before. It isn’t uncommon for each kid to have two or more extracurricular activities going on. Guess who is running to all of those meetings, practices, and events.

Most of Mike’s perspective on women neglecting to take care of themselves stops there. We’ve just gotten so busy that we simply forget that we need down time. But after much thought, I realized there is a whole other layer to this problem. Men.

The role men play

Men are pretty good at taking care of their own mental state. They will go out with the boys if they need to. They’ll sit front of the TV with remote in hand, head to the latest blockbuster movie, or find a physical activity that they enjoy. Women simply don’t make time for that. We always have a sick kid, one more hour of work that needs to get done, a sink full of dishes, or another load of clothes. We don’t often step away and say, “ok… enough.”

Add to this the amount of women that are doing all of these things with no man at all, and there is even another layer of stress.

It’s not their fault

The truth is that it isn’t the men’s fault. Mike, for example, has often considered writing a book or speaking about what he’s learned through his massage career, but he doesn’t think most women would listen to him. And he’s right. We don’t listen to our doctors, our husbands, our friends, our beauticians, our moms, or our masseuse. We think we have it under control. We think we can add one more item to our juggling act and still be okay. We cover the stress and exhaustion with pills, coffee, and a fake smile and we just…keep…going.

The solution

In Part 2 of Massage Wisdom, I’ll share what I’ve learned about coping with this downward spiral that we’ve found ourselves in. Check back on Friday!

 


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