Friday, February 12, 2016

41. Adult Sick

I’m just getting over a bout of stomach flu and I’m still not recovered. My stomach feels weird after I eat pretty much anything, and I haven’t wanted to do much of any exercise after work. It’s crappy being knocked out of your normal routine, but it kind of felt good to be sick-sick. Not that “Oh, I can power through this” type of sick, but the “you know if you try to get up off the couch you’re gonna hurl” type of sick. It was nice to just embrace that for a day.

It’s weird being sick when you’re an adult. It’s not like when you were a kid and did everything you could to try and convince your parents to let you stay home from school. When you’re adult, you try to justify staying home. It almost feels like you’re cheating work or getting away with something. You calculate how much you’re letting your co-workers down and balance that against how much sick time you have saved up and still see if it’s worth it to not go into work for eight hours.

I think we all try to be heroes with these things. Except, I don’t think anyone really likes it when you come in when you’ve got the sniffles and cough that makes you sound like you’re going to croak any minute. Everyone goes straight for the hand sanitizer after they’re out of your radius. It’s true. I’ve done that before.

Can we ever take true break from work? We don’t like to be away from work when we’re having fun. We also don’t like to be away from work when we’re miserable, sick, and literally unable to move. That feels so strange.

I didn’t do much on my day off. My insides felt like they had been flattened by an iron and then doused in vinegar. I just laid on the couch for most of the day and sipped lukewarm fluids through a long straw.

It was nice to be forced into unproductivity for a while. That doesn’t happen enough. It’s good to be a curious person, but I like it when we don’t have to be vigilant about keeping up with work emails or Twitter or changing out of your sweatpants. Some marketer found the secret formula to keep people engaged, productive, and buying things. It’s to tell them that they’re missing something. I do terribly with guilt trips.

What  if we all decided to rest for a little bit instead of pushing ourselves? Is that un-American? I like the space away. It gives us time to think and reflect and wonder about those things that clog our mind when we work too hard. I just stared at the ceiling and groaned for most of the day. It was pretty boring, but I made it through the day. I was in a FitBit step walking competition with some friends. (I’ve won the past four weeks.) I thought better than trying this week, so I took a back seat and didn’t push myself on my feet.

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