So if you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, it’s been no secret that I spent most of Adventure Week in the throes of a nasty sinus infection. Of course, during this time I started thinking about the psychological paradigms of illness, because that’s where my mind goes after systematically watching everything in my Netflix queue.
I have mixed feelings about being sick. I am sick oftener than most people, as I think I was last in line when God was handing out immune systems. I was probably goofing off when he made the announcement. This is what I get for not paying attention.
Being sick is no picnic, for obvious reasons (i.e., the feeling like total crap, the usage of landfill-sized amounts of Kleenex, the not being able to taste ice cream, etc.). But. The being able to take a day off and do NOTHING? Fantastic.
But Natalie, you protest, that’s what weekends are for! No, reader, they are not. Even on days off from work, I am constantly DOING, whether it’s cleaning the house, grocery shopping, gardening, plotting the death of the ants/spiders that have invaded our home, cooking, working on the blog, investing in personal relationships so my friends and family don’t start to wonder if I’ve been abducted by aliens. But. When I’m sick? I can lay down and FINALLY rest. No sharing of the tv – I can watch as much BBC programming and reruns of 30 Rock as my heart so desires. I can use the computer without Mike constantly snatching it from me because he “just remembered these awesome videos of pitbulls doing Parkour” and then proceeding to take a half hour sorting through Youtube videos to find one. freakin’. video. Although in all fairness that one was pretty cool.
I can also nap when I’m tired. You’d be amazed at how many pillows are thrown at me in an effort to get me to stop being so lazy when no, I’m genuinely exhausted from being so efficient all the time. It’s nice to be able to listen to what my body is telling me without unwelcome criticism from third parties. Especially a third party who shall remain nameless, but I often refer to him as “husband” on here.
But. In spite of all these wonderful benefits to illness…the guilt associated with being sick? Awful and emotionally crippling. No, you read that right: guilt. Obviously I have severe neurotic tendencies – I’ve made no effort to hide that here on this safe forum that is the internet.
I garner a lot of my self-worth from feeling productive. And I am not productive using up my cache of tissue, channel surfing, and spending too much time on Twitter. It doesn’t help that I’m surrounded by so very many super-human bastions of productivity who never seem to get sick. Ever. Meanwhile, the germs invade my body like teenagers drawn to free pizza. Actually anyone drawn to free pizza. The illness has obviously affected my ability to properly create metaphors.
I know theoretically that my value as a human-being doesn’t diminish when I’m not constantly busy. But. Damned if I’m not jumping through hoops trying to convince people I am not a hypochondriac, or lazy, or a hypochondriac, or just trying to find a reason to miss work.
I resolve AT THIS MOMENT to not care so much what other people think and just enjoy my sinus infection and the way it enables me to spend six hours of quality time on Pinterest.
And fine, fine, here is the Pitbull-doing-Parkour video. Stop bugging me about it already.