Tuesday, September 02, 2003

time to re-focus (and oh, does my brain hurt)

I started this little diary in hopes that I could lure a couple of classmates into a conversation. It doesn't appear that's going to happen. I rather suspect that most of them are in the same boat I am -- trying to fit 36 hours worth of activities into a 24-hour day. Actually, some of them look like they're trying to fit 48 hours into the normal day. They make my efforts look puny.

I am a full-time student and a full-time mom, however, and that's a double-handful no matter how you look at it. The house has surrendered to dust-bunnies the size of VW bugs and the yard has been taken over by even larger tumbleweeds. This morning I was letting my older children play in the one area I've managed to keep fairly weeded while I read up in my Focus On Health textbook. My goal is to get all of the quizzes out of the way this weekend so I can concentrate on the heavier writing projects. My brain hurts and my eyes are crossing. Anybody who's had to study with a couple of toddlers yowling in the background knows what I'm talking about. I'm up through Quiz #8 and hopefully should get through two or three more by the end of the day. Then I have a couple of case briefs to write for Dr. Hair Shirt's class. Then there are the dishes, the vacuuming, the children needing love, attention, and their own lessons. Sleep? What a concept!

Part 2 out of my textbook is the whole reason for this blog, and I'm going to concentrate on them for my attempt at lifestyle change. Okay, so maybe I'll use a little out of chapter 3 as well, just to get the overall stress levels down. That's stress, exercise, nutrition, and maintaining a healthy weight. Where do I start? What do I do?

This is beginning to sound like, where do I start when I want to organize my house? Which is something we go through here on a regular basis. It becomes an argument like a circle -- I want to start at point A, but I have to clean up point B before I can; in order to clean up point B I have to clean up point C; I can't clean up point C until I get point A cleared. It's tempting at this point to take a bottle of alcohol to a corner and nurse it until A, B, and C go fuzzy. But they would still be there in the morning. So, I'm afraid, are all of the other issues I have to tackle before I can get to where I want to go.

Okay, I just took the overall health evaluation. I'm afraid it made me giggle uncontrollably. Evidently I have a very poor score in sexual health. If I may: "recognizing that engaging in sexual intercourse increases risks to your health in a variety of ways." So does breathing, people.

"understanding that by beginning to engage in intercourse at a young age dramatically increases your risk of illness, pregnancy, and other threats to your health." That was nearly 17 1/2 years ago; I *think* I understand the risks by now and deal with them appropriately.

"understanding the importance of barrier type contraceptives and taking action to use them appropriately.

using barrier type contraceptives every time you engage in sexual intercourse because you recognize that using them less than each time you engage in sexual intercourse is an ineffective way to use them."

Okay, I've been married since I was 23 and with the same man since I was 22. That's 14 years of monogamy and the only STDs I'm going to get are going to be from him. It will be far more hazardous to his immediate health should this occur, trust me. The only reason I ever use a condom at all is if I'm not using the Pill. And come on, barring in vitro fertilization, how else are you going to get pregnant? This test seems to assume all sorts of things, and appears to have been written for the 'traditional college student' far more than for the 'non-traditional student' (me!)

Yes, sexual behavior of any sort is going to increase your risks for a number of diseases or injuries. So does driving, kiyacking, skydiving, going to college, getting married, having kids....the list is endless. Life is the number one cause of death. EVERYTHING has risks -- how do you manage them? How do you balance one risk against another? How many people want to die virgins? Condoms are a great idea, but they have their time and place just as other methods of managing sexual activity have their place. I'm about to have the Shot (one of these days I'll remember the technical name) and I won't be using a condom at all. According to this test that's totally irresponsible. To me it's very responsible. After 3 kids in 4 years, I need a rest.

I guess what got me the most is the assumption that condom use is the only responsible reaction to sexual activity. Responsibility varies with situation.

Enough with the sidebar. Stress, exercise, nutrition, weight. The key to managing this is going to be changing my organizational style -- i.e. NONE -- to something that works without killing me or the kids. The spouse can defend himself, lol! Next post (hopefully): organizational notes.

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