I’m on forced Downtime, on sick leave of sorts – well I’m not under anyone’s full -time employ so it’s more that I’ve had to cancel commitments, canceled freelance shifts, moved meetings and so on. And with freelancing comes the dreaded no work no pay thing.
It is soooo difficult to switch off OMW! It has always been difficult for me to take sick days, I always feel so guilty that other people have to pick up the slack for something I had committed to. It started at school days my dad especially practically wanted a coroner’s report before I could call in sick. And they would make me do homework buddy, “if you have time to lean you have time to clean” – or in this case, you can do spelling in bed.
My working days I’ve always had a good work ethic (well I think so), that’s just who I am, if I commit to something consider it done. BUT then you get sick and then what?
Despite a nasty chest infection, I was ready to go to work yesterday, light headed, snotty nosed and going between fever and cold sweats. I almost passed out in the bathroom, that is when I came back to bed and said F IT!
My boss/client/friend who I would have been working with sent me such a powerful message: “Don’t you dare apologise for getting sick, it’s not a weakness. You need your rest”
It got me thinking, why do we glamorise exhaustion and insist on not taking some damn downtime? Most of the people in my life have a minimum of two jobs, I run in hustle circles, lol. I mean my bestie is a full-time teacher and coaches sport and is a Sunday school teacher and still does freelance writing. My other best bud literally runs a production company and is an MUA when she’s not full time employed at a language school. I could go through everyone close to me, like EVERYONE! The physio who works at a school for disabled children and moonlights at the hospital, the accountant who runs an online shop, the multitude of bloggers/photographers/so many other things they do people in my life. Oh, and most of them are still parents too.
EVERYONE is always on the run and I know by now that if any of them are taking it easy, it probably means they have managed to only need to do one and a half job that day.
I love this life, right now I’m working at a paper doing freelance design, I’ve signed up to do a series of articles for a supplement, and I’m working on planning for an event and I still make jewelry. Also, those of you who come here regularly would have noticed that I’m blogging more regularly now…All of this is work. So I am almost always busy, like at all times.
So being sick (typing this in my PJs with one of those headaches that hurt when you move your eyes in their sockets) is tough on me, I feel like I should be doing more, like at the very least I should be washing the dishes. But actually I don’t even want to eat, plus I keep passing out.
Back to the point of this post, I’m slightly drugged can you tell…
I have decided that there is nothing wrong with taking a few days off to get your health in order. There is nothing wrong with having a weekend where you actually God Forbid REST. No one is going to die if you don’t reply to your emails RIGHT NOW! Money can be made again, but you can’t get your health and sanity back from not taking care of yourself.
And yes the economy sucks and we can do with every cent we can make and I had to calculate my sick days as a loss, BUT, taking care of yourself is paramount.
So this is a note to all my hustling sisters and brothers out there reading this…It’s okay to do nothing. You can watch Netflix without simultaneously making something or sewing something. You can play with your kid and not keep checking your watch to make sure you don’t miss a meeting. You can drink tea/coffee while it is still warm.
Being sick is not a weakness! one day a few months ago I mentioned on Instagram that there was nothing like waking up sick to remind you that you aren’t in control. I got reprimanded for that RIGHT QUICK something about people having real problems and me letting flu get me down… I never even said it was the flu, my insulin levels were not right THAT is why I wasn’t feeling well.
I have literally almost died twice in my life, I’m talking ICU, doctors screaming things like stat and give her room, I dunno what else, I was drugged. Point is, I don’t take my health lightly AND! The reason I never responded that day is the reason I’m writing this post. And that is…
IT IS OKAY TO NOT FEEL WELL!!! You can cry about a sore foot, it doesn’t take away from the person with an amputated leg. Things can exist separately from each other.
CUT YOURSELF SOME SLACK! Take to the bed like a character from Anne of Green Gables (which I totally binge-watched on Netflix by the way) My plan for tackling all the work I have lined up for the next few months is simple…
Work from 7 to 7 and after that NO WORKING! Also no more skipping breakfast and lunch to work…There is no hall of fame for burn out… and I’m not interested in a headstone that reads
“Here lies Eleanor, she worked, alot”