For those of you who don’t know, I have been out of work and school since Tuesday, December 9. I woke up that day feeling fine and ended up with a 102 degree fever by around 2pm. I came straight home and crawled on the couch and started a Z-pack that night. Cough syrup, a prescription for a distant cousin of penicillin, and two steroid shots later, I’m finally starting to feel better. My symptoms seem to be fading and my energy is returning. The sad thing is that my doctor has really no clue what made me so sick. We thought I had mono, but my bloodwork came back negative for the virus that causes mono. I feel a bit invalidated since I can’t say "oh, yeah, I had such-and-such that kept me out of work and school for two weeks." Instead, all I cansay is that I had some sort of virus that kicked my immune system’s tail and was resistant to every medicine I tried. But… and I hate to make this all sentimental and crap… this two weeks has really opened my eyes to something I have tried to ignore.
I need rest. And I don’t meant to catch up on sleep or be lazy. I need time for myself, time to heal and recoup. Time to lounge and do things for myself. Time to bake batches of cookies and clean my house. Time to do my laundry and read books. Time to sip a cup of coffee every morning and read the news. I need time to rest.
One of my faults is that I am a workaholic. I love being busy. Maybe it is covering up some sort of psychological issue, but I love to be busy. For the past couple of months, I’ve really outdone myself at work. I am scheduled to work 20-22 hours a week and usually end up working around 30. I volunteer to stay late, to work on Saturdays. And it really started to affect every part of my life. I wasn’t getting my schoolwork done (which should be my priority) and I wasn’t helping out around the house (and was therefore very grumpy beacuse I hate living in a messy house!). I was staying in on Friday nights and skipping out on the gym. I have always done this with every part time job I’ve had. I’d pick up extra shifts at Gospel Supply and at CARS…. oh man. Over the summer, I was working 50-60 hours a week on top of taking a summer class.
Being stuck at home for two weeks has been a bit frustrating because there is so much I want to be doing. But, I have finally realized that this is exactly what I needed. I needed some time to recoup and reevaluate things and I think 2009 is going to be much different. I have enough money from my student loans that I will only need to work around 15-20 hours a week. So, that’s what I’m going to do. Period. My future career is so important to me that I need to remember to save my workaholic tendencies for teaching… not for leasing apartments.
Sometimes I feel guilty for doing the things I love. I feel like I should be working or contributing to something or someone else. But I have learned that you have to focus on yourself from time to time and do the things you love… for me, it’s cleaning house for a bit on Saturdays and writing Christmas cards. It’s baking treats for my friends and organizing my closet. It’s getting all my school work done and being ahead of the game. It’s checking off my to-do list and feeling a sense of accomplishment. But, when I do those things, I find that I am more able and willing to do things for others. So, in a sense, doing things for myself makes me the person I need to be so that I can do things for others.
The journey to healing has been an interesting one. I am still on a bit of a break… I only have to work half a day Christmas Eve and then not again until the Monday after Christmas. I’ve got a lot of things I want to get done and I think I’ll be able to accomplish them and that will make me feel even better! My encouragement to you is that if you are like me, learn to rest. Learn to stop long enough to enjoy life and not rush through it. Learn to appreciate your time and value yourself. Life will be much better when you do.