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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.

There are now open boxes of tissues in every room of this place, one on each side table, near each place I sit, on every counter top, and next to each of those, small bottles of hand sanitizer – which I don’t use unless I am down with some sort of contagious ailment. Which I am. Down with a contagious ailment. By which I mean, I’m sick. With a cold.

In spite of a fair bit of misery, I managed to get my Friday managed decently well, and the day even ended with a car in my driveway, again. I’m fairly pleased with all of that. I crashed out almost as soon as I got home, got up a couple times for soup, tea, to pee, or to attempt to ease my symptoms. All very human. I slept through the night, I think. I at least don’t recall waking. 3:38 am, my lack of ability to breath woke me. I’d planned to go directly back to bed, feeling woozy and uncoordinated. I ended up here, instead. 🙂

I spent an hour conversing online with a friend having a rough time at the moment. Quality conversation is too often built on someone’s suffering, which is shame, but nonetheless it is good to spend time chatting with a friend to ease the boredom and ennui of being sick. I’m sleepy again, and it’s back to bed to continue to work on getting over this latest bit of ick. (Fucking call centers. They are often disease incubators every bit as much as they are places to work. Don’t get me started about public transit.) Conveniently, from a work perspective, I am sick over the weekend. Inconveniently, from my own perspective, I am sick over the weekend. Balance in all things, I suppose. 0_o

Time to go back to bed. I can try a new beginning a little later. 😉

I’m sipping my coffee thinking about my adventures yesterday, and comparing the experience of making a journey from the driver’s seat, or the passenger seat. Same distance to cover (in life, as well)… same route… different hands at the wheel. Different decision-maker. Different outcome? Maybe, maybe not – but definitely a different experience.

As the driver, I tend to be watchful and vigilant, wary of obstacles, and alert to the “important” details – which nearly always have to do with getting from the start to the end of the journey, rather specifically, and sometimes to do with the timing. As the passenger, I tend to be more interested in the journey, itself, the scenery, the surroundings, and even the conversations along the way, or the music on the radio, and my physical comfort. The focus is shifted away from the practical details of the driving itself.

I’m finding it worthwhile to reflect on this; far too often I entirely overlook “the passenger experience” when I am driving – not enough mental bandwidth? Lacking in mindfulness? Merely overly focused and purposeful at the exclusion of having a little fun, too? Left brain versus right brain? No idea – I am simply aware that often, when I am “the driver” in life, I tend to be rather specifically stuck on the details of doing the driving, and too often miss out on some of the potentially equally (more?) important details of enjoying the journey, itself, for what it is.

I’ll probably turn this over in my head much of the day, as I go about the business of leisure, and self-care, and housekeeping, on a relaxed summer Sunday. 🙂

My head is still buzzing with the distracting excitement of the show last night. My tinnitus reminding me there is value in ear plugs. My hallway is short two paintings that recently hung there, now hanging somewhere else. My “art closet”, filled with work carefully stacked by size, is one painting less full today. I am groggy. I am too much awake to sleep more, though I need more sleep. My eyes feel like they are covered in sand paper, and my iced coffee does nothing to quench my thirst (how the hell am I so damned thirsty?). I have a drive ahead of me – hours down the highway, on a weekend likely to be “a long holiday weekend” for about half the long-holiday-weekenders out there taking time off for 4th of July travels.

Between the lake and the sky, there is a distant horizon, whether I can clearly see it or not. “Lake & Sky; Infinitely Blue” 8″ x 10″ acrylic on canvas w/glow.

Begin again? Right now I can barely just continue. lol The headache developing could be dehydration… or lack of coffee… or fatigue… or… well… I’m a fucking mammal. A being of light wrapped in a meat puppet that I think I control. lol Who the fuck knows what all the potential missteps and annoyances may actually be? There are probably a lot of possibilities I wouldn’t even know to consider. S’ok. One thing, then another. I shower. Do some yoga. Water my garden. Drink water. Drink coffee. Meditate. Post about the art show (hey, it’s the 21st century, this is a routine form of communication now). Pull myself together a bit at a time, giggling every time I pause to consider that a great many of the Friday night Party People who attended the art show – or the after party – are just finally wrapping things up and going to bed. I’m glad I got a couple hours of sleep.

Here comes the day. It’s the weekend. I’m eager to see my Traveling Partner. Eager to enjoy the day, building on this lovely moment, right here. My heart feels light in spite of the world being rather irksome. It’s something to savor, to build on, and to enjoy. It’s not just okay to feel good in dark times – it’s really rather necessary. Without the good times, emotional fatigue can set in, and then what? We’re no good to each other if we are not able to feel what is good and pleasant and right in our moment, in our day – in our world. So. Today seems a lovely one to take a breath, and enjoy this bit, while this enjoyable bit lasts.

…Then later, I’ll begin again. 😉