The secret to longevity is…don’t vacuum

This was inspired from the blog post: Take my Advice, I’m not Using it written by Mark from who is always an inspiration and an encouragement.


On the Sunday before the wedding, I suggested to my mom that she might want to spend as much of the day as possible resting before such a stressful week, doing so much for everyone. “You are crazy! I can’t rest a full week before the wedding. What good is that going to do me?!” she laughed at me. And I laughed with her.

The differing perspectives reminded me of the quote, “The secret to longevity is getting a chronic disease and taking care of it.” -Oliver Wendell Holmes (who lived to be 93 at a time when men died at 40). At what point do we shift from our bodies listening us, to listening to our bodies?

Yesterday I shared that I was breaking up with my body; that’s actually a feeling I’ve had for a while now. It doesn’t mean I’m not listening to her, it DOES mean she isn’t allowed to bully my spirit any longer. I used to bully her though. I used to push her past her breaking point all the time. Both before and especially after CRPS/RSD set in.

I can be relentless when I am focused on something. Whether it’s a person, my career, a passion, a dream, or a goal, I will drive all of my energy into it or them. In my past life, B.P. (before pain), while at work one day, I was set on vacuuming the floor. Simple. The vacuum belt needed changing first, but the belt I special ordered for the vintage model was just a smidge too small. Too bad. This floor was getting vacuumed today. I put both feet on the vacuum and pulled the rubber belt with all of my strength to make it fit! POP!!!! The metal vacuum brush cylinder sling-shotted me right in my face! The pointed end hit me hard enough to knock me out momentarily, and missed my left eye by a hair. I got 11 stitches, a black swollen eye for a couple weeks, and a cool scar across my eyebrow…from a vacuum attack. (Everyone wore a metaphorical I’m with stupid t-shirt while it healed.)

What does that worthless vacuum have to say? There are limits. We can force it, but there are consequences. This wedding coming up (in 4 days) could set me back with my health for a while. But it’s once in a lifetime, it’s one day, and this is most definitely worth it. Sometimes the benefits outweigh the consequences and risks, and sometimes, it’s just a little extra dust on the floor and it isn’t really worth a scar on your face.


Please share a moment you pushed it too far and life or your body reacted harshly. I’d love to hear from you!

About abodyofhope

I do not know why it is that we must wade through tragic circumstances to find truth. We nearly drown! But under the water, there are pearls. I hope in writing this blog, more will come to the surface. Over the past 15 years living with chronic pain, patient advocacy has had a powerful effect on my life through meeting so many remarkable teens, women and men: SURVIVORS. These individuals are HOPE personified. I wish to honor them in the same spirit they have encouraged me to press on. Eight years ago, I became bed-bound from a variety of secondary chronic illnesses. A procedure meant to help the pain condition I had been managing for several years- went bust #BIGTIME. Over the years, my entire life has changed. I have changed, but I am still striving to live my best life possible. Along with sharing inspiring pieces about spiritual wellness and finding quality of life inside of ongoing illness, I also share health research, awareness information, poetry, memes, art, and this blog is also an attempt to put my own pieces back together. Welcome to A Body of Hope, and thank you for visiting. [Complex Regional Pain Syndrome/ RSD, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), Dysautonomia, Chronic Intractable Migraine, Cluster headache, Trigeminal Neuralgia, Occipital Neuralgia, Hypersensitivity to Sound & Light, Fibro, CFS/ME, Cerebrospinal Fluid Imbalance......blah, blah, blah] >>> P.S. My headgear is protective for pain. I just rock it hard ;)

Posted on February 23, 2016, in Being Myself, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Oh dear, my vacuum cleaner and I have a very distant relationship, so my house sometimes looks like this:
    I’m relentless too, and I’m always way too busy for my own good, but I think I’m getting better at deciding what’s worth the pain and fatigue and what is just dust on the floor.
    Your sister’s wedding will definitely be worth it, even if you experience some setback afterwards. I hope when you look back, this will all be part of a greater triumph.


    • Haha! The tumbleweeds can get as loud and obnoxious as pain sometimes 😕
      Striking that balance is so difficult…for everyone, but moreso with unpredictable health issues. To say you’re getting more of a handle on it is pretty huge for anyone! Kudos!!!
      Thank you for rooting for me 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Just Plain Ol' Vic

    Heh I can think of one example. Awhile ago this place I worked at had an annual “tradition” of playing tackle football (no pads, gear or anything remotely safe). Being one of the newest employees I played and went full bore that day.

    Earned respect? Yup. Became “one of the guys?” Yup. Barely could walk the next day. Yup.

    Liked by 1 person

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