*It’s been a long time since I wrote here or anywhere else. I thought I’d visit my site today and found this post I’d been preparing in mid-February. I never got to send it, because just after this I felt much worse and stopped everything, tipping into real burn out I think. I’m over my sickness now (six weeks of bronchitis, possibly pneumonia!), and doing lots of self-care stuff is helping a lot but I’m very slow to feel like getting back into any kind of writing. I haven’t quite got over feeling ‘blah’ but hopefully, I soon will. In the meantime, here is February’s post.*
I’ve been sick for nearly two weeks with the flu – I’m still battling it but feeling much better. At one point the ad for Codril came to mind, the ‘soldier on’ one with the woman in a suit marching along the street. I don’t use Codril. Just hot toddies in the first day or two, then throat lozenges, a Ventolin inhaler, lots of water, lots of sleep.
I was tempted to do the soldiering on thing. I had writing and planning I wanted to do, some organising at home to do, and I’d just committed to do 100 days of creativity and journalling.
Then I remembered what I wrote recently and how I was already flirting with burn out before I got sick. Plus the first week of school was unusually stressful for us this time which I’m sure didn’t help. So I decided to show myself some mercy, do the strict minimum and rest as much as possible.
But I hated feeling like I was getting behind on work – housework and writing work. I hated not being as attentive as I wanted for my son’s first week of kindy and my other children’s first week of new classes or new schools. I fell asleep one afternoon, worn out by the new school pick-up routine, and the children looked after themselves until their father came home.
I outsourced all of my daughter’s birthday party prep. I couldn’t taste her birthday dinner, or the chicken soup my husband made me. I hated keeping him awake all night with my coughing. I hated that some things around the house didn’t get done properly (or at all) and having no energy to do them myself. I had a friend come to dinner, but felt guilty when I forgot to mention I was sick and potentially contagious.
But each time I hated, and felt guilt, discouragement, shame, and irritation, I reminded myself of the flip side. How blessed I am to live in this house, with this work to do, this husband, these children, these friends, and this awesome food. How blessed to be so healthy that this is the worst I have to deal with right now.
Now it’s Lent and I didn’t get to do the preparation I’d wanted to do for one of my favourite times of the year. Does it matter? I guess not.
I’ve already had a desert experience of sorts for two weeks. I’ve had practice in battling some of my demons, and it has been a battle. I’ve had to call upon the humility, patience and gratitude I’m capable of, and hopefully strengthened these virtues a little. So in a way I figure I’m actually ahead.
But I do hope the rest of Lent is a little easier on me. 🙂