For someone with a naturally optimistic tendency and writing a blog about optimising happiness at work and in your life, I’m off track today. I’m wallowing in misery. As mentioned on the weekend I have a bad cold and am feeling awful. Feeling physically awful also tends to make you feel sorry for yourself. It started me thinking about just how often I catch a cold. During winter it’s about two per month. That means that I’m losing half of every month. With such a weak immune system, I’m likely to pick up every dangerous bug that lurks in the mucous of small children. And it hits me hard.
When kids get sick, their mother has to look after them no matter how near death I feel. I put my self-care on hold (as usual), and scurry around making them juice, giving medication and making them feel loved and comforted. How much I yearn for some matriarch to emerge from a mystical mountain, bossing around my family and telling them I’m not to get out of bed under any circumstances. I’ll call her Panacea, the goddess of Universal remedy in Greek mythology. Panacea, I’m open to anything – just bring it. If the silver bullet is that four letter word ‘Rest’, then just use the bullet for its intended purpose and put me out of my misery.
I have a feeling some people think I’m just putting it on,or it’s in my head. I’m no stranger to mind over matter. You can’t run almost 90 km in one day and not have a strong mind. The trouble is I have been suppressing what my body has been telling me for so long that I’ve lost touch. I can’t tell when I’m overdoing it or about to overdo it. I thought I was getting better at that but I don’t trust myself anymore. How can I make any plans? I want to experience things in order to write about them. I want to set up meetings and appointments every day so that I’m stimulated, growing and finding my flow. I’ve understood that I shouldn’t have persevered so long in a job I dislike. I get it. I’ve understood that I need to find something I love to do, and I’ve understood that I need a respite during my day. What more do I have to learn? And for how much longer must I recover?
I’m trying to have some fun in my days and evenings but it may even compromise recovery. I’m not sure I can just focus on healing and recovering. Elizabeth Gilbert talks about owning a creative mind being like having a Border Collie for a pet. You need to give it work or it will find its own work and you might not like what it does. How can I be expected to hang around the house, waiting and RESTING. I feel trapped and stuck. I’m unable to hope for and plan for a future when leaving the house is hard.
Yes, I know, it’s temporary and I’ll feel better soon. But some days are just like that and I’m not going to pretend it’s easy. I want to move forward. I want to make progress. I’m reading about gratitude and enjoying the moment, finding flow activities. But how can I do that if I’m feeling so awful? Without your health, life is very difficult. We don’t value it nearly enough until it’s compromised.
I often don’t want to publish anything when I’m feeling down. I have a tendency to wait until I’m feeling better again, edit and publish, of course with a positive ending. But that’s not so honest. We all have days where we just feel stuck. I’m impatient, I want to get on with my life. When will I be able to go out and see clients all day and have enough energy to play with my kids? Is that so unrealistic?