I’ve been fighting getting sick for a few days now, but it’s official: I’m sick.
It’s also my 30th birthday. Yes, I know, I don’t look thirty. Until I got sick I didn’t feel thirty, either.
As I coughed up most of a lung this morning, I made a realization: I am sick right now because it’s the first time I’ve had time to be sick in a while. That sounds weird, but hang in there with me. I spent all last week in a frenzy at work, trying to get everything done before I took a week’s vacation. I felt more tired than usual, coughed a couple times, or had a scratchy throat in the mornings, but I rebuked them. “I don’t have time to be sick!” I told myself. I have to do eighty million things before I go on vacation. Ain’t nobody got time for that!
Well, this week, I have time. No that I intended to have time. No, I had a full agenda. I was going to catch up with these people, write these things, run on this trail, and go out of town here for a long weekend getaway. I ran all over the place all weekend, meeting up with my dad to deliver books to him for his church, going to morning service, the congregational meeting, and evening service, all in an effort to get things done so I can focus on getting other things done. When I’m supposed to be resting, like when I’m sick, I’m not resting. I’m cleaning, following up with people, writing, reading–doing. I’m not altogether sure I understand the concept of rest.
One thing about being sick and on vacation, though, is that is forces you to slow down. I’m finally able, for the first time in a long time, to really look at my life with something other than blind panic about what I haven’t managed to get done yet. There are things that aren’t working right now, and instead of panicking, I have time to say, how can I change this? What new strategies can I try?
Since I’m out for a whole week, someone else is going to be taking over my responsibilities this week. I don’t have to worry about coming back to a mountain of work and feeling like I’m never going to get caught up–or at least, that’s the hope. So I don’t have to borrow worry from the future about what’s coming down the road. So, instead of trying to build Rome today, I’m going to rest a bit. My rest will probably include writing, reading, getting out in the fresh air, meeting up with a friend or two and a little cleaning, but it will be rest. The turn down this week is going to be so real.
P.S. If you’re looking for a more introspective post, you may want to try my Indigo Moods blog. That’s for the experienced swimmers in the existential crisis pool