Sometimes, taking hold of the moments means just taking care of oneself. I ran pretty hard throughout the month of December, since Thanksgiving really. Holidays, presents, shopping, some babysitting, and knowing all the while that there were some pretty stressful work things coming up at the end of the month. So when I started feeling run down along about the middle of the month, I knew I was in trouble. It wasn’t exhaustion, not quite. It was more like how a pebble in the river feels as it’s swept end over end toward the sea. I’d been rubbed smooth and shiny but there hadn’t been a moment to touch the bottom, to take stock, to come to rest.
I started feeling it Christmas day. Tired bones and achy-throated, I sat under blankets at home and watched episodes of Psych on Netflix. (If you haven’t seen it, you should. It’s witty.) I woke up last Saturday, the day all of my work ish was scheduled to go down, feeling the real beginnings of not just tiredness but illness also. I struggled through a fourteen hour day (with commute times) and tried to rest up as much as possible on Sunday before heading back to work to close out the year.
Tuesday afternoon, tasks finally finished for the month, I got home and… Crashed. My immune system gave up the battle. Head stuffed full of goo, throat filled with razor blades and broken glass, I huddled under what seemed like thirty seven blankets and tried not to shiver too much of my chicken soup down my front.
After thirty six hours or so resting, I feel better but not well. If the rate at which I am burning through Dayquil and tissues is any indication, there will be at least a few more days of sickness. But I feel much more rested than I did.
I am currently trying not to feel guilty about missing work. I am reminding myself that not wasting my moments also means not rushing headlong into a physical collapse. It’s not really working. I had it drilled into me as a kid that if you could get out of bed then you should be at work. It’s taken a long time of re-training myself to realize that sometimes Being At Work doesn’t mean that the Work is Actually Getting Done.
In the end, I know my immune system will eventually win the war against whichever bug I managed to pick up this time. It always does, after all. It’ll just take some time, and like anyone, I have to muddle through. But for now, I’m going to go make some soup and watch Hellboy and just breathe.