A very unexpected thing happened last year. Health and I broke up. It was time. We were pretty hot and heavy for a long time but we started to notice some conflicts and tension develop and I think we just needed some space and time to sort some things out. Much like Ross and Rachel, health and I didn’t stop loving each other, we just needed a break…
As I mentioned last week, I wanted to share some thoughts on why I have been pretty much out of the mix for the last year or so. Not because I think you all miss my clever health puns and analogies but because I think the reasons offer some good discussion points for the state of health information and life in general.
Now, I didn’t necessarily take a break from living a healthy lifestyle, aside from a few flings with York Peppermint Patties and a mild obsession with Star Wars Commander. I took a break from studying, analyzing, debating and discussing health. I didn’t disown it or criticize it. I still gave it a nice acknowledging smile when it entered the room but just kept my distance most of the time. We were civil and pleasant but that was about it.
Why did we go our separate ways? That proved to be a fun question to ponder.
As I was thinking about what caused my health blogging break I found a neat parallel to health. There was not a single cause, more a multitude of potential factors that interacted and influenced one another as well as the whole. Just like health, I was presented with a correlation regarding my health hiatus when I was trying to establish causation.
So instead of applying blame to any or all of them* I think it’s fair to identify each and how they played a role…
*Caveat: Just like health I realize there are likely other factors in play that I don’t even realize including potentially, the real cause, that I’ve overlooked in the process of nabbing a bunch of easily acccessible suspects.
We all need a break sometimes. No matter the level of interest, most things in life are tidal. The tide comes in for a while and then it goes out. I have been fully invested in my health and the health of others for several years and I think I just needed a break from it for a while. My profession and my hobby were one in the same and were taking up a lot of brain power. They tide had been in for a while and it just needed to go out for a while.
Time is precious. In a similar vein, I noticed the demands on my time to be greater as life goes along, which leaves less time for everything and stimulates some necessary prioritization. When health became less interesting to me it was an easy thing to drop while family and other things stayed in the loop.
Health info is overwhelming. Currently health is a big deal, as it should be, which is inspiring a jaw dropping amount of information inundate us. This is a problem for a number of reasons…
- It’s just too much to information to handle.
- It’s delivered by the media and social media which is means it is very unreliable.
- We are changing our minds about things every couple months.
- Anyone can, and does, write about it.
This all results in a bunch of health opinions, misinterpretations and misunderstandings that get passed around as truth. What is truth and what isn’t? It has become, almost impossible to tell. Trying to keep up with it, even for someone knowledgeable, has become a mild chore at best and a major annoyance at worst.
Writing equals more screen time and less green time. This was a real issue for me. Researching and writing means a lot of staring at a screen, usually sitting down and mostly inside within reach of wifi and a plug. It also meant I wasn’t exercising as much and as the limited time problem would suggest, prioritizing health blogging means often deprioritizing exercise time. Add to it the subsequent decrease in outside time and I was missing out on a lot of my cherished green time the more I was writing about health.
So what was the “cause?” Hard to tell, which is why I think it was likely all of these and more that all came together to lead me away for a while. Whatever it was, I do know that all of this led to much less note jotting, podcast listening, reflective thinking and hardly any rough draft writing. Anything that did pop up seemed to fell like it was rehashing the same stuff again.
I had simply lost the inspiration.
So what brought it back? Not sure. Very similar to how it left, I just found myself slowly flowing with the incoming tide.
In general, it just felt like the write time (pun intended) to reconnect with health.
So long story short, the last year taught me that no matter how much you like a subject, you just might need a little break. It doesn’t mean that it doesn’t matter to you or that it’s permanent. You simply might have to let a hobby take a backseat for a while, particularly if it is getting in the way of your health. It also reinforced how fickle the health world is at the moment and how much patience we all need to practice in this daily barrage of health news and breakthroughs.
Now I’m not saying health and I are officially back together but more good “Friends.” Will it ever get to be hot and heavy again? Time will tell…