Friday, January 21, 2011

My sick day

It's been years and years since I have 'called in sick to work'. In fact I think the only time I remember ever doing so was when it was required by ... toilet to comply. Since then I have not needed to.

As you know yesterday was different.

Usually one easily knows what to do on a regular sick day. I mean you're sick, so you stay in bed, sleep, have soup, sip gingerale and have naps all day. Perhaps with brief trips to the toilet for one end or the other.

Well yesterday wasn't what one normally is used to for a sick day. I knew beyond a doubt I should not be at work sharing my unstable emotional state with bursts of tears and fits of grief. I knew it was safer for all involved for me to take a bit of time to let my emotions have a rest and for my mind to take a break to solve the mystery of Bee's death and to rather just think on her life.

After the first couple of hours passed I admittedly felt guilty for taking the day off. I mean at that point I felt fine. Of course, I had to remind myself that 'at that point' I wasn't being frustrated by my perceptions of injustice of someone I was supporting, or solving a bank emergency, or dealing with someone yelling at me for not letting them have more for breakfast.

Nope, at that point I was home, in my pjs without any intention of being productive. In this scenario it was pretty easy to be 'ok'.

I wasn't exactly sure on how I should get myself better mentally. What's the exact prescription for one's mental or emotional instability at a given moment. The day before had clearly shown me that I needed to be home, away from the emotions of my job and pressures of being someone's support system.

Hmmmmm, makes me wonder if I can get myself a support worker....

Anyways, I decided that the first thing I would do in my day is something that would bring me joy.

For me yesterday, that meant collecting up and rolling the money I had received from 5 of the jars I had received back for Compasio. So I did.

I rolled more pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters than I knew even existed. After counting up all of the rolls and bills I had collected a $470 deposit that would be paired with at least a hundred and fifty dollar donation. This would put my Compasio total up to nearly $2000!!! I was thrilled. This indeed was a good activity to do to feel better.

Once that was complete I looked at the clock. Only 9am. I decided that if I was home sick I should sit on the couch in the living room with lots of blankets, the fireplace on and the furnace turned up a couple of degrees (you know, to prevent a chill) with a good book.

So I did.

I picked up a book I got for Christmas called 'The Happiness Project'. I'm 2/3rds of the way through and I was on a good chapter for the day at hand. Though it's not the best book I've ever read, it's given me tidbits of thought to chew on which I've enjoyed.

I read for a while. A whole chapter even (which is amazing to accomplish in one sitting these days). After that I thought I might be ready to blog my feelings which was yesterday's post.

By then the clock told me it was time to eat, so I did.

I then decided to watch pointless tv with my dogs.

I had a spurt of energy during this time so I cut up hundreds (at least it felt like hundreds) of boxes too big to put into recycling until broken down then I tied them up. We'd been avoiding this task since we moved. Now it's almost done. This felt good.

I then figured I bake Wally and I a clean treat. So I made biscotti. The house smelled so yummy.

After this I resorted back to blogging and wrote a post I have not and may not post. Then returned to reading with an interruption call from work. Then Wally came home.

By the end of the day I felt guilty for ever taking the day off. I mean I felt fine. I felt good. As long as I wasn't being stretched emotionally and didn't have to think about the tragedy that had occurred I was ok.

Except that in my job (and so many others) you can't go into work without daily being emotionally stretched. And if you are not 'ok' on a good day you certainly won't be 'ok' on a bad one.

I also realized the whole point of taking a day off was to recover and to feel better. The whole point is to feel better by the end of the day (or couple of days) than you did when you started your break. No one should ever feel guilty for taking care of themselves.

I am beginning to wonder though if more than a day off is needed. Is this field a good fit for me if my emotional and mental state can't keep up with it's demands? I'm not sure. I often compare myself to other workers and see nothing good in myself in this field. I often only recognize myself as a failure because I'm not as relaxed as some or because I don't love doing long trips. I feel bad that I don't care to do more time at work than I have to. I find myself so often admiring so many of my co workers and wondering why I'm not as gifted in this work as they are.

All of these are selfish acts as they focus so much on myself but they are things I think about.

I day dreamed today about taking a month of to just think and daydream and do stuff around the house. Just to live in my house and spend time with friends and help family that need it. Sometimes I wonder if I'm doing exactly what I should be doing right now.

I feel kinda bad for thinking these things. I know that taking a month off wouldn't solve my problems or reveal all of life's truths, but it does get me excited to think about.

My hope is that perhaps I can settle my mind a bit more in the days to come so I can enjoy the life I have more and know where my limits lie. What's best for me.

If you could wish to do something different for a little while, what would it be?