I came home from work last night and wrote a to do list of items that still had to get done after dinner. My chest started feeling tight and I got beyond tired out of the blue. I made dinner and we sat down to eat when I started to feel a little bit off. Something just didn’t feel quite right. I decided it would be better if I got some sleep and got up early to complete the remainder of my list instead of forcing myself to get things done when I was so painfully tired. I got some tea and went upstairs to go to bed. I laid down and then the room started to spin. Before I knew it and I’ll spare you the gory details, I realized I had come down with some form of food poisoning and it felt like my insides were being carved out slowly and painfully. I never get sick. I mean really once a year is even a surprise to me. I went back through my day thinking of the things I ate and trying to figure out what was causing me such torture. I cancelled all of my appointments for today in the height of my illness. Finally, the icky feeling seemed to subside and I went to sleep.
I woke up this morning feeling horribly guilty for cancelling my appointments. I was feeling much, much better. Almost totally normal. I told my sweet husband, “I think I should reschedule the meetings for today again, really, I’m fine.” He looked at me, eyebrows raised, “really? That stuff can’t wait until tomorrow?” I thought about it and the icky feeling came back. I didn’t want to put anything or anyone off. I was really okay, I wasn’t in the hospital, I don’t have a fever. I could really go to work. Domi then pointed out, “there’s been a lot going on lately baby, maybe your body is telling you to take a break.” And then I rolled over and looked at my phone and a text from my girl Juliette that said almost the same thing in different words. But I did not want to take a break. The little voice in my head kept telling me how disappointed people were going to be. That I was disappointing myself. For what though? Rescheduling meetings for tomorrow and missing one German class? There was nothing on my list that couldn’t be done tomorrow, but the anxious, icky feeling was still there. No, it didn’t make me feel like I had to stick my face in a toilet, but the just slightly “off” feeling wouldn’t go away.
Yes, maybe I drank an expired juice yesterday that made me violently ill for a few hours, but I also think my body was trying to speak to me and I just did not want to listen. And when I refused to listen, it took matters into its own hands. What I’m trying to get at here is that you don’t need to give yourself food poisoning in order to take a break. You don’t need to be sick to take a breath. The curse of being an independent contractor at times is that you have so much freedom that you just keep running since no one is telling you when to shut off. The same problem occurs with people with more structured jobs when they care a lot about their work. Our bodies need time and love to recuperate, even if it’s from doing the most massively fun things. Our minds need a break. We need sleep. We need rest. We need to allow ourselves that time without beating ourselves up. I looked at Domi, “am I being lazy?” The look he shot back at me made me sure that I wasn’t, but it’s not enough for him just to tell me that. I have to believe that I am not lazy. I have to know that I am working hard enough. I am giving enough; I also need to take a little time. I need to take just a little break here and there so that I give my best, not a shaky, hollow version of my best.
Give yourself a break too friend. You don’t need to be sick. You don’t need to be anything. You need to be well and sometimes being well means taking the break before your body has to do it for you. Please get some sleep. Tell yourself you are enough. Meditate and go for a short walk outside. Hug your loved ones. I’m gonna give you a hug too (I promise I’m not contagious).
Happy Tuesday friends, I am sitting in my bed and I am proud of it. oxoxoxo