Archives for category: health

Well, I got through the work week, more or less, which is to say, it’s over now. So…okay. I’m still sick. Sicker than makes for a comfortable experience out in the world – and I don’t actually want to share this crud with some innocent bystander, child, parent, or not-further-identified human being. I just don’t; it’s shitty. I may still need to venture out into the world, just to restore depleted soup, broth, or symptom relief supplies. I don’t really want to. I showered. I got dressed. I’m sitting trying to recall what, if anything, I actually need outside these walls. I’m sure there’s something…

…I’m actually too sick for going out. That’s the wholesome truth of it. I have other options. I could order what I need to be delivered, at a modest additional cost. I can’t recall that I actually need anything, right now, even though the list was growing ever longer in my head as I was working. Instead, I took time to do what was really on my mind, and handled all the payday things that were also on my mind, and tidied up the budget, looked over what I can and can’t sustain with current resources and expenses. Funny… the upcoming holidays would generally be on my mind by now. That’s not the case this year. I shrug it off, unconcerned. I’m sick, and this amount of malaise and ennui are pretty typical for me. No appetite. Not for food, or for fun.

I sit here glaring into the insulting cold dregs of my morning coffee with a combination of disinterest and frustration; I’d like more hot liquid things to pour down my raw throat. I don’t have it in me to make the effort. I should go back to bed, and it’s about the only thing I really want to do, only… I also really don’t want to. I want to be well, but that’s not exactly an “on demand” sort of situation. I’ve got to get finished with being sick, first.

I try to organize my thoughts more skillfully. I fail. Being sick affects even my ability to reason clearly. It sucks. I don’t even feel like reading a book, or writing, or … anything. Hell, I don’t even feel like mustering the energy it will take to move from this spot, undress, and wrap myself in blankets to slumber awhile. I ache all over. I’m both fatigued and bored – and I’m rarely bored, ever. I’m a little stir crazy from being “cooped up” since Tuesday, perhaps. My head aches. Why am I even arguing the point with myself, like a child? It’s clearly nap time. lol

I contemplate the matter further, sorting out my thoughts, before I amble off in the direction of my bed. I haven’t got it in my to rush, but I am reluctant to walk away from this seat by a window; the sun has come out. It doesn’t warm me; it’s a chilly autumn morning. Still nice to see. I sit quietly for a few moments, until I catch myself dozing off in my office chair. Yeah… it’s nap time.

I can begin again a bit later… 😉

I’m sipping my coffee and feeling vaguely guilty about being sick, which is, to say the least, just fucking dumb. I mean to say, it only comes up when associated with the potential that being sick will cause me to fall short of someone else’s expectations, or potentially result in the failure to tick off boxes on someone else’s agenda than the important matter immediately at hand; getting over being sick.

…I’d ideally like to survive all my experiences…

If this were the weekend, I’d certainly be annoyed to spend it being sick, but there would be no guilt or anxiety involved at all. I’d just be down sick, and doing my best to take care of myself. I struggle with that idea when work is involved. It’s weird and counter-productive (from the perspective of taking care of myself).

I woke feeling worse than yesterday, although generally speaking yesterday actually mostly felt better than the day before. The cold or whatever that this is has begun settling into my chest. By midday yesterday, I’d begun to develop an annoying dry cough. I started losing my voice intermittently, before losing it altogether by evening. I woke several times during the night, and slept restlessly, waking myself from coughing. Ah, but I can work from home! 🙂 Shit. How is this supposed to work, in practice? Am I really up for it, or am I expending limited life force on a slow march to eventually landing in the ER with something worse? I go back and forth with myself… work from home? (Don’t be such a drama queen – it’s just a fucking cold!) Don’t work at all and just call out? (You don’t get to tell me what my experience is like! You just don’t even know what I’m going through! Shrew. What if I’m literally dying?) Being sick does tend to make adulting much more challenging. (You’re not dying. Make another cup of tea and get on with things.) Choices. Decisions. Actions. Every step is a challenge, and I’m sick and I just don’t even want to bother.

…This morning’s illness-related ire would rise to the level of a childish tantrum, only I am simply too sick to expend that kind of energy on literally anything that isn’t coughing… So… there’s that.

…And, to be fair, there’s also this; being sick at home presents a small number of pleasant distractions in the form of autumn visitors to the deck.

A fit of coughing interrupts my writing, and I also manage to spill fresh hot coffee all over myself. I start crying over spilled coffee, and my emotional volatility erupts unpleasantly into that tantrum I didn’t think I had energy for. Huh. I guess I did after all. Tears turn briefly to hysteria – and laughter – and then, for some bonus fun, I start choking on sinus drainage and phlegm as the Mucinex I took when I got up finally starts doing its thing. Gross. I’m a mess. I walk away from the writing and head to the shower; if nothing else, a hot shower and clean clothes will feel better.

I come back to my writing refreshed, and still uncertain how much capability for work I’ve really, honestly, fairly, frankly, legitimately do have – would I be better off calling out and going back to bed? The titular question is rhetorical; our willingness to exploit ourselves for someone else’s gain (generally an employer) has a long and fairly vile history. We yield to it mostly willingly (even defending the notion, generation after generation) after years of brain-washing, repetition, and programming that the primary goal (and obligation) of adulthood is “gainful employment”.

My brain quickly fills my thoughts with reminders of all the shit on my calendar, and all the shit in my inbox, and all the shit I want to get done because it absolutely needs to get done… “you can’t afford not to work”, the rallying cry of exploitation. Fuck. I do actually have a lot of stuff to do – and no back up on a lot of it. I settle on “doing what I can” and balancing that with attempting to also take care of myself as well as I am able to. I don’t know what this choice looks like in practice. Time to start figuring that out.

I guess I’ll begin again. 🙂

 

…I ended up calling out, and going back to bed. It was the wiser choice, if somewhat uncomfortable.

I had gone into the office yesterday, and I stuck it out for more than half my shift before calling it a day and going home to be sick more efficiently. I crashed out and slept most of the day away, waking briefly for tea, broth, or a slow woozy chills-and-sweats journey to the bathroom. I slept through the night without waking, when the time came. I woke this morning, still feeling symptoms, struggling some little bit with a stuffy head. Better, but not over it. Today I’ll work from home.

The hard part right now is not over-working myself when I do start feeling better. There are sticky notes all over the house reminding me to slow down and to pace myself. lol A short and unexpected bout of coughing catches me by surprise. Time for a cup of coffee or tea – some hot liquid of some kind.

…And I manage to somehow screw that up… coffee ground, drip cone ready, kettle on; I let work distract me as soon as I logged into work tools, and never heard the kettle’s quiet “click” letting me know the water was hot. Yep. Still sick. I paused when I realized what I’d done (or more accurately, failed to do) and quickly restarted that process, and sat down with a satisfying hot cup of coffee, that went cold before I drank it, because I got caught up in work. LOL Oh my. It’s gonna be like that, is it?

So, I resign myself to work, and capitalize on my early morning energy and willingness to focus on it. The headache I’ve still got, and the stuffy head, suggest I won’t be working any long hours. Probably for the best. 🙂

The self-care details do matter. It’s a complicated puzzle, though. On the one hand, I know that taking contagious illness into the office drives absenteeism as other people succumb and call out, day after day. On the other hand, there is nearly always also the subtly conflicting messaging that we have an obligation as productive adult citizens to commit to the agenda of our employers and show up. There’s work to be done! Are we really that sick??! It’s a weird and counter-productive conflict that seems to be so commonplace most of us fail to even gain traction on the idea that maybe, just maybe, our employers have a specifically pro-work agenda they are focused on that doesn’t support wellness at all – and can’t. I’m fortunate to be able to take the work-from-home option when I need to, but can’t help but also take notice of my own discomfort with making the choice to take care of myself. If I were a school kid, I would not be going to school today, and I’d stay home bundled up in bed. Period.

Is adulthood defined as “having reached the point in our maturity when we can efficiently take over the day-to-day management of our own employer-serving exploitation”? Well… that sucks. 0_o

Today I’m working on taking care of me, and making the attempt to make that the focus of my day. I’m no good to my employer if I am too sick to function. I’m no good to myself if I work myself literally to death.

Self-care matters. I do, actually, care about myself. So… there’s that. 🙂 Time for a hot cup of coffee that I can enjoy while it is still hot. 😉 I’ll just have to begin again.

 

…I woke up during the night, a couple times. Feels like I may be coming down with the ick that has been going around. It had spared me, but late last week, a colleague definitely exposed me to it… I was hoping I’d gotten lucky, and that good self-care would be enough to stave off illness. Not this time. I find myself hoping I picked up a bug down south, instead, though I don’t recall anyone being ill while we visited; it’s just a scenario that does not put me probably taking some terrible contagious ick down there to a whole other community, which I just may have done this weekend. 😦 I hope not.

I don’t yet feel “don’t go to work” sick; may end up returning and working from home, or doing so later this week. It is hard to say. I teeter on the edge of being sick. Stuffy head – treated with the limited cold medicines I am comfortable using, seems well-managed. Tickle in my throat – well, that could just be dry air, right? Snoring all night, or? Maybe I’m not getting sick! (Why do we play this game?)

The weekend suddenly feels distant. The work day imminent, and fraught with anxiety, acid reflux, and unknowns. I take a deep breath and relax, reminding myself that pre-setting the day to any particular emotional quality likely puts me on the path of creating that specific experience. I can do better. I can choose differently.

I smile and notice that I never made coffee, which gets me thinking about the lovely mornings over coffee together my Traveling Partner and I shared over the weekend. This is a better starting point for my day, which is convenient, since it is already time to begin again. lol 🙂

My legs ache. I am contentedly fatigued from the effort of the weekend. Joyous effort. Heartfelt effort. Connected effort. The effort we make in life really matters; it’s how we get results. Well… I mean, sure, there’s “luck” of course. Good fortune puts a lot of folks on the path to one win or another, or general success in life, but let’s not kid ourselves about that; there’s a lot of effort that often isn’t seen, or shared. People – lots of people – go about the doing of things, often unnoticed by passers-by.

Sooner or later, however longingly I dream of hiking a particular trail, there’s no progress on making that a reality until boots hit the ground.

Start somewhere.

What’s your dream? Are you working on it?

What’s on your horizon? You are your own cartographer on this journey.

If you’re not working on your dream, realistically, how do you expect to achieve it? Pure intention? Casual assumption that gritting your teeth and firmly “manifesting” it will get you there? “The Universe” looking out for you… why? Someone’s going to hand it to you? Because you’re a great person? Seriously? So, I’m here with a short cut for you – and almost surefire not quite guaranteed path to success (your results will vary); make an effort. No kidding. Sucks, I know, right? Effort?? Like… actual work?

Are the obstacles you face truly as immediate and non-negotiable as you imagine them to be?

Our results are often closely correlated to the effort we make to attain them.

Whose advice are you taking? Sometimes the commandments we perceive as written in stone aren’t so permanent at all.

To put it in more practical terms…how many NFL players just happened to be spotted casually throwing a football around at some point in their life, having never played the game, and just happen to be so fucking fantastic that they are offered a deal on the spot? How many drivers are stopped at an intersection during their commute and offered an opportunity to compete in Formula One racing? One-time karaoke singers invited to perform at The Met? Let’s count carefully now…

…0. Probably. (I didn’t actually look all those scenarios up – if you find an example, I’d love the link to the narrative.)

The point is, if you want to be a professional football player, you’ll probably want to learn to play the game (as a starting point), and hey – maybe get really good at it. Most things work this way. You have to begin somewhere. Practice the thing. Become skilled. Go on to mastering the thing, or becoming in some fashion accomplished. Verbs. Effort. Action. Daydreaming doesn’t put pen to paper, brush to canvas, or a ball into the air.

Wherever it leads, the path we choose in life isn’t going to walk itself.

Hell, we don’t even get to rest on past glories for future successes; it is necessary to keep at it. Whatever it is. Effort. Fuck – I gotta say, that sounds like work. (It is.)

It isn’t always clear where a path leads, or how to reach a desired goal or destination in life. Sometimes talking about it helps.

I spent the weekend with my Traveling Partner. It was intensely connected and intimate, and we had deep conversations about things that feel important – emotional conversations that were not always easy, and could have wrecked a weekend, were we not the sort of partnership that thrives in an environment of authenticity and depth. I got in the car this morning, before dawn, to head back up the highway feeling refreshed, renewed, and filled with something more nuanced than inspiration, more powerful than motivation. I feel push-pulled back into a more verb-packed groove. I hope it lasts. (There will be verbs involved, and no doubt my results may vary.)

One more moment, one more opportunity, one more new beginning.

It’s a good day for a beginning. 🙂