What taking care of yourself really looks like.
No school for my son today. His forehead is hot and he is cold, tired, stuffed up and unwilling to do anything I offer to help remedy his situation. He is sick.
It’s Monday, of course, and it hurts my throat to swallow, I have aches and pains in my body and the postnasal drip has kicked in to overdrive. I pop some vitamin C, make homemade ginger tea and chicken soup hoping to knock it out. I can still work on my emails, make phone calls and I am sure I’ll be feeling better tomorrow for my clients this week. There is laundry, dishes and garbage from the out of town guests this past weekend. Thursday is Thanksgiving and I need to bring the yams. I have plans, people! I CANNOT BE SICK!
Six hours pass and I feel worse. I make the decision to STOP. Cancel my clients, leave the dishes where they are and climb back into bed with my laptop to watch anything other than emails.
The second I give myself permission to do nothing and recover… I feel relieved.
My son has completely given in to taking care of himself. He has mustered up the energy to move the TV and Xbox into his room and is having a full conversation with Grand Theft Auto. His body nearly disintegrated into his bed. Half eaten cereal bowls everywhere, 3 days worth of snot rags litter the floor in between his clothes, creating a most unique mosaic. There’s coughing and nose blowing. The one-sided conversation goes a little something like this: “What the F*#K?! How is that possible? MOM – this stupid game won’t let me… CRAP, that’s so stupid!!!!”
Then there is the laughter. LAUGHTER?!!
My son is having FUN. How is this possible? He is sick and having fun. I’m sick… and I’m not having any fun. Then I realize, I haven’t given in yet. I haven’t allowed myself the pleasure of doing nothing. I do not yet believe that it is okay to let go. Give up even. So what if the laundry and dishes sit for 2 days. My clients already know that I am sick and we need to reschedule. If I am too sick to go to Thanksgiving, no one, and I mean no one, will miss the yams. It’s going to be ok. It’s going to be okay to do nothing, produce nothing, give nothing and receive nothing.
In this moment I reignite my passion for doing nothing. But then the boredom kicks in. I can’t watch any more shitty shows, read any more books or just lay here. Maybe I’ll do some dishes or just one load of laundry. Maybe a little yoga, my muscles are killing me. All of this is a mistake. I crawl back into bed. Reminded that I need to STOP and DO NOTHING. Allow myself to enjoy it even. If I give myself 2-3 days of nothing, I will recover sooner. No one is coming to my house to check on its state of affairs. My clients are taken care of. My teenage son is self sufficient. It’s time to solely take care of myself.
Let the socks and snot rags pile up around you. Give in. Resistance is futile, or at least in this case unhealthy.