This week I met with my professional coach for a healthy and frank discussion of my weaknesses as a person and employee and finalized a work plan to face head on some of the issues that keep me from being the best that I can be. I also met with my boss for my 2011 performance review, celebrating what I had done well in the past year and addressing the strategic concerns that continue to bother her and keep me from being the best that I can be.
I also started running again, slowly and badly, since my recent annual checkup revealed that I have gained 10 pounds and am approximating the ideal weight for an all-pro tight end but not so much for a desk-bound middle-aged manager and that my weight issues are compromising my long-term health and keeping me from being the best that I can be.
Additionally, I scheduled time with my dentist to replace two old, dark amalgam tooth fillings with miraculous, white ceramic fillings that cost about as much as a new car payment. (Speaking of cars, I dropped a cool grand on car repairs, too.)
I brought the week to a gentle close by calculating how much I owe the federal government in taxes.
All in all a purposeful week of accomplishment and bravery that left me in serious danger of weeping openly if one more piece of constructive criticism or personal upgrade crossed my path.
So, I decided that I needed to:
(a) drink with a vengeance and wake up in jail with a new tattoo
(b) get a fluffy puppy who will love me unconditionally
(c) get a professional massage
I chose (c) a massage. In fact, I decided to get (c) a Thai massage because there is a parlor a few blocks from my house. Now I understand that this sounds like I chose (c) pay for sex. There are a few common misconceptions about Thai massage floating around. Let me clear some up.
There is no sex involved. This is initially disappointing but ultimately morally comforting. It also proactively eliminates the need for my next annual medical checkup to include a healthy dose of penicillin.
You pay about 60 dollars an hour. Your life looks on the surface like you are in the 1% if you take a gander at the iPad, the Starbucks card, the cool neighborhood, the hipster cache of music, the foreign car, and all the rest. But you are reminded in a subtle but ugly way that you are really in the 99% if your level of relaxation,which grows with each minute of massage, simultaneously erodes with the nagging consciousness that it is costing a dollar a minute to relax.
Thai massage is not really massage. When you hear the word "masseuse" you imagine an attractive but un-embarrassingly-arousing woman named Helga who smooths the week's woes from your body with firm and comforting caresses. A Thai masseuse is in reality a tiny but unnaturally strong woman named Somchai or a compact, gymnastic man named Sunan; neither is interested in your comfort. Thai massage is less like getting a lightly-oiled hug and more like enduring a thoughtful beating.
Yes, they step on you. Dude, I got Sunan and he stood on my thigh for quite a while. Ouch.
On a scale of 1-10--where 1 is the pressure of flannel sheets on your
body as you sleep by a crackling fire and 10 is telling your captors
the nuclear codes just to make. it. stop--my massage held steady between 6-7, punctuated occasionally by real pain.
Really, I feel like I joined Fight Club. But, I can rotate my head to see behind me beyond my elbow now.
So I had my many troubles manhandled out of me and I paid dearly for it. I needed it. I needed it a lot.
PS - But next time I may call Helga. Oh, and "Neeps and Tatties" by Stanton Moore is not painful at all; now playing on iTunes.
One Hundred Thousand Flashbacks
4 years ago