The Struggle for Structure

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While I love running around and always having something to look forward to (no impending trips makes me very antsy), structure is something I’ve always regarded as a double-edged sword. The thing I like the most about my life/job is that my schedule is completely unpredictable. On the same vein, the thing I like the least about my life/job is that my schedule is completely unpredictable.

Some days I crave routine, but I know if I had a normal 9-5 again I’d be bored to tears. Running from airport to airport, time zone to time zone is extremely taxing. Sure, it’s exhilarating and keeps things interesting, but it’s also exhausting. It’s hard to maintain any sort of healthy lifestyle when you’re constantly on the move.

I kept this mostly on the DL, but I got really, really sick this past winter, to the point of having no energy to do anything. It felt like mono, but the test came back negative. It wasn’t the fun Netflix and chill kind of bed rest; I literally couldn’t even keep my eyes open through one episode of a show. As a super active person, the thought of being bedridden indefinitely was terrifying. No one could figure out what was wrong with me and it made me question if this lifestyle was really for me if my body was clearly rebelling.

After a month of inconclusive blood tests, thyroid tests, speculations, and professional opinions, I was diagnosed with post-viral fatigue (some bullshit cop out answer). In short, I got strep and didn’t give myself the proper time to heal so I never fully recovered. Over the years, I’ve left bronchitis, colds, and flus go untreated because I didn’t want to miss out on something fun (yes, I live in a permanent state of FOMO) and thought I was invincible (my misguided millennial complex). Chalk it up to being sorely in denial of getting older; my immune system paid the price.

While I’d love to have a stable 1-2 trips a month evenly spaced out every couple weeks, that’s just not realistic. For whatever reason, it’s always go go go crash (with the most recent bout being a crazy seven weeks straight). It takes longer to recover after trips than it used to, but I’m making a concerted effort to take better care of myself (it’s true, everything really is downhill after 30). Finding balance will always be something I struggle with, but with so much to see and so little time to see it in, what alternative is there?

What strategies do you have for keeping it real when you’re constantly on the go?

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