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?