Home – Sick

Last week, an illness of cataclysmic proportions rocked the Greenwood Davis House. It started with one child, then the other. Ish began to feel ill and then finally – despite all the Cold Fx (I swear by the stuff) and handwashing I could muster – me.

I’m not one to let a “little sickness” get me down. I’ve been known to meet deadlines even while hacking and snorting and getting sicker by the minute.

I wear  it like a badge of honour that only I can see. “Look how much I did while sick!” I’d brag to myself. “I am almost dying and yet here I am!”

Part of it is ego, for sure, but part of it is the fact that I love what I do. Writing and trading laughs on social media are part of my job but they’re also things I’d do even if they weren’t.

But this? This knocked me out. Flat. On my back. In bed for two days.

A week later we’re still feeling the effects and life is fighting to get  back to normal. And by “normal”, I mean “crazy.”

cam relax

Some members of our family have no trouble relaxing...

Most days I’m up by 4:30 a.m. and I’ve been known to sit at my computer all day, only getting up for snacks and bathroom breaks, until the family arrives around 5:00. Then I’ll sneak in some Twitter time while helping with homework, dinner and tuck-ins – before heading back to my office once the kids are in bed at 8.

And though when I got sick, half of my stress was the grim realization that I had no way of knowing when my insides might stop churning, the other half of my stress came from knowing that I was going to be forced to slow down.

It’s a hard thing for me.

Given the choice, I’ll choose busy over not busy any day.Ten deadlines, meetings at the schools, book launches, editor meetings… bring them on.

Twelve hours in bed where even reading makes you crazy? Hell. On. Earth.

But I had no choice, so you know what I did? Nothing.

I rested and it was then, without the clicking of fingers on a keyboard and adrenaline pumping lunch making sessions that I heard it: my body – talking to me.

“Finally. You took a break. Finally.”

Yup. In this gotta do it now world, when there’s a crazy trip to be planned, kids to be watered and fed, and work to be done, sometimes we forget to stop, to be still, to relax.

And sometimes you forget so long that  your body has no choice but to step in and take over.

beach work

...others struggle with it

Time management has never been my forte – check any of my report cards from grades 4-8 for proof on that one – and now that I work for “me” I’m finding the boss is a slave driver.

And it’s probably going to get worse when we head off in a few months and deadlines have to be met from a different time zone, with kids underfoot who aren’t going to school for  6 hours daily and the added pressure of maintaining a living from the road.

So in preparation for the days ahead I’m trying to take a lesson from last week’s  sick days.

Things can wait.

Health is important.

And maybe, just maybe, “normal” can be the new “crazy.”

Do you work too much? How do you keep from making yourself sick?

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{ 4 comments… add one }

Ivorysoap March 30, 2011, 3:12 AM

Yoga is an excellent way of balancing your life and taking time for your body, mind and soul. Trust me Heather, it’s more than just a workout!
I had awake up call, a few years back just like yourself and now I tell my friends there is no such word as “Superwoman” except in the cartoons.

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Heather Greenwood Davis March 30, 2011, 7:28 PM

So true! Funny (sad?) thing is it’s self-imposed. I see lots of my friends doing the same thing I do – working ourselves sick – and I can recognize that they need the break, just not that I do. Yoga may indeed be the answer.

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Karma Brown March 31, 2011, 10:20 PM

Ah, been there. Only a couple of weeks ago in fact! I’m not a fan of “resting” – one of the reasons I despise naps, and truly wish I could do away with sleeping at night. But sadly, I do need to sleep at least a small chunk of the night! Glad you’re feeling better. Glad your body forced you to rest. You clearly needed a break. But I bet it won’t last, right? ; )

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Heather April 4, 2011, 2:56 PM

Trying to stretch it out Karma but it is tough! One day at a time I guess. Hope you get some rest too.

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