[Tripping On…] Subtle Spinal Distractions?

I wonder if I became disinterested in watching movies because my spine was subtly distracting me from watching what would otherwise be alright but somewhat boring media? I have noticed, as I think of how I will sit in chairs to recline, that I’m not well-disciplined in good back posture. I’ve been practicing good standing posture of not leaning on one side, hip, or foot. Sitting? That’s something I’ll have to practice, maybe during movies?

Change starts slow and regression hits fast.

I nearly had my first headache in twelve days while driving today. I noticed a flash of sensation behind my forehead and around my eyes for just long enough to start practicing my back, shoulder, and neck stretches. I’ll do a chin tuck, first, where I move my head back and subtly tuck my chin into my neck to see where my head is positioned on my neck, whether it’s too far out or seated well. Next, I’ll check to see how my spine is doing. Is my lower back doing well? How about my upper back? How about my shoulders?

When I did all these, that ache had cleared from my head.

I don’t like being in the business of exaggeration and sympathy, so I wouldn’t call that a headache. I might make a note of it in my headache log because it was enough of a 15-second flash to be noticeable, but otherwise, it wasn’t a mindbender of any sort. Just a subtle reminder that these headaches will be a chronic thing I’ll have to live with, but at least I have the tools to know how to fix them quickly, like I did here, rather than have them fester.

Let’s say I wasn’t driving, but standing or even sitting.

Returning to the stretches I’ll do to treat my headaches, after doing the neck and spine check, I have a mild shoulder stretch where I rotate my shoulders and elbows that kind of looks like a chicken motion. This is easier done if you don’t care about your audience. If you’re at home or around empathetic friends, cool. I can do all of that relatively quickly either with the on-set of a headache or just proactively so I don’t get those same sensations.

I guess the thing about most movies, though, is that they bore me.

Although I write with cinematics in mind, which is to say keeping an eye out for visual cues and maybe minor theatrics, I’m not a big fan of the pacing of most movies. With books, I can fast forward through bits that are boring or slow down to reread bits that are confusing. With movies, it’s at their pace, so it’s either fast forward or pause-rewind-replay, and if I’m doing that I’m already distracting myself away from the movie itself.

I’ve thought of watching more movies just to build up my cultural awareness.

The problem with that, though, is that my attention span can’t hold through the longer segments when I am either thinking about what I want to write or publish next. As of this writing, I nearly have twenty essays in my backlog to publish, so if I were to watch a movie, I might be focused on that, the remaining essays I want to write today, or anything else. That sort of time travel, of thinking of the future, is useful in most situations. Forethought and planning are great. I guess movies, then are like keeping one’s self grounded in “a reality,” at its pace, which is tricky for me.

I find videogames to be like that too.

With books, though, I am most often distracted by just having too many thoughts in my head. After I clear those thoughts with a few seconds of closing my eyes to think through whatever I’m thinking about, I can usually proceed through the rest of the material.

Let’s consider distraction from this perspective, too:

I was distracted by Discord for a minute or so just now. I first responded to a direct message, then a chat conversation, where I looked something up. I will often use media to distract myself from any physical sensation I’m feeling, but if I’m reminding myself of physical sensations while I’m watching media, that might be a good approach. I’ve got to constantly wiggle my way out of bad health and into bad better health, and if that means I’ve got to remember to sit or stand with better posture, close my eyes more often or close my eyes through entire sections of sentences I’m writing, like this one here, then I can save my health for moments where I might need to rely more heavily on them.

Writing like this is leisurely for me.

Writing like this is a sort of leisurely work. I am actively doing something where I am creating new material, which is different than actively consuming media, like playing a videogame, but not doing anything more with the playing process like taking screenshots to write essays or stream the game for viewers. Even during work like this, or my professional work, I should constantly remember myself, my body, and posture.

I was distracted by some work there and am standing now.

My problem was I had never wanted to waste the time to consider myself when I could be doing other things. Now I am forced to consider myself as it relates to mild eye strain, neck strain, or any pang around my body. They are mild enough to just be annoying but not major enough to be anything I would write about outside of essays like this. When they happen now, though, I have the tools to practice getting my body back in order so I can stop feeling those minor pangs. For now, they’re conscious efforts applied constantly, but I imagine within a few months of practice, I’ll do them as subconscious reactions to even the mildest tightness.

If not, then I’ll get my spine X-ray’ed again.[]

Quotes: None.
Sources: My personal and professional experiences.
Inspirations: Considering how mild dextroscoliosis could influence why I get bored during long movies.
Related: Sober Living essays and Tripping On [The American Healthcare System] chapters.
Picture: I don’t have the spine for a fancier picture.
Written On: 2020 February 24 [From 12:50am
to “my body, and posture” at 1:18am; 1:25am to 1:28am. Gdocs.]
Last Edited: 2020 March 04 [Adapted from Gdoc, so, second draft; final draft for the Internet.]
My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.