Sunday, September 24, 2006


vertiginous \vur-TIJ-uh-nuhs\, adjective:
1. Affected with vertigo; giddy; dizzy.
2. Causing or tending to cause dizziness.
3. Turning round; whirling; revolving.
4. Inclined to change quickly or frequently; inconstant. is a wonderful source of fodder for the fatigued blogger, and today's Word of the Day sums it all up nicely.

These last weeks have been vertigo-inducing, with stress, sadness, grief, and anxiety to the fore, not to mention physical pain. At work, the constant river of complaints and maladies coming from my patients often manages to distract me from my own preoccupations, sometimes thankfully, sometimes annoyingly so. Sometimes I resent the distraction, and just want to focus on me. But for those eight hours each weekday, my needs and life take an ersatz back seat. Such is a life of service.

The dizzying pace of work often erroneously precludes self-care, and work at times seems to diminish rather than augment one's personal life. This is an unfortunate but true reality for many of us who work outside of the home and absent ourselves from our personal lives for nine or ten hours each day. Just trying to take time to call one's doctor or arrange a personal appointment while at work can seem like an enormous undertaking. When one works all day forty minutes from home, how does one take the dog to the vet, care for sick children, go to the dentist, pay bills, advocate for ageing parents, and otherwise manage the complexities of life? This daily separation from the needs of the homestead and family can weigh on the soul.

Now, we can't all be farmers living and working on our own land, and most of us wouldn't want to, anyway, and many a farmer would tell you that the lifestyle and hard work is not all it's cracked up to be. Those who are self-employed and work at home might long for an office to escape to, away from kids, dogs, laundry, and the myriad distractions that working at home would offer. At home, it would be so easy to decide to wash the dishes or organize the closet rather than get down to work. It's a wonder so many of us are unhappy and stressed. Are we trapped in a world we never made? Or are we simply not made for the world in which we are trapped? Nonetheless, here we are, and however vertiginous, our lives are of our making, our design. It's only a trap if we see it as such. Imprisonment is in the eye (and heart or soul) of the beholder.

So, at this juncture, at the dizzying age of 43, feeling set upon by the vicissitudes of a responsible adult life feeling slightly beyond my control, I will take my spiritual Dramamine and call you in the morning. Thus warned, I wouldn't blame you for leaving the phone off the hook.
Post a Comment