Good Advice: Take It a Little Easier on Yourself, Sicko

Why I have time to write this post:

I ran across LetsBlogOff today thanks to Twitter.

I saw it because I had time to scroll through tweets and click links that caught my eye just because—not links that contribute to my professional knowledge or have something to do with one of my civic volunteer hats.

I had time to scroll through tweets because I went home sick instead of staying at work and powering through, which used to be my norm. “It just has to get done today. I should get it done.” (As I’ve written before, don’t should on yourself. Say that quickly and you’ll get the real meaning.)

I came home because I’ve given myself permission to be human. Being human means having limitations. Not only having them, but recognizing and respecting them.

Once upon a time I almost never got sick. I’m a pretty fanatical handwasher and user-of-paper-towel-to-open-rest-room-door, which helps. I’m also lucky in that I got a pretty good draw in genetic poker; my dad is 93, my mom is 89, and three of my four grandparents lived well into their 80s and 90s.

But in the last few years I’ve gotten knocked down—hard—about twice a year by some kind of bug. I get my flu shots faithfully and do think they help, as I often stay well when everyone else is tanking.

However, I am (ahem) getting an eensy-teensy bit older, as I have been known to lament. I stretch myself really thin between work, volunteering, and family, and sometimes don't have quite enough butter to cover the toast, if you know what I mean. I don't have time to go to yoga, which would help make me more mindful about my choices and priorities if I did. I'm setting myself up.

I finally caught on to a simple truth: Powering through does not make me get well faster. Quite the opposite, in fact—I drag out my recovery because I never really give it a chance.

In the bike world they say slow is smooth and smooth is fast. My sickness corollary would be that being sick (acknowledging it, really) is getting well.

Thanks to@Urbanverse for the RT of this post, Extraordinary Singleness of Purpose, which led me to the Let’s Blog Off world. This is my own advice to myself, not advice from someone else, but I think it fits the theme. And I have plenty more advice--see below.

The best advice I ever received, which was really supposed to be the point of this post, has to be 3 Things My Mother Taught Me.

Your Turn

What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you? Or advice you recall and use regularly, even if it’s along the lines of “remember to set the liquid measuring cup on the counter instead of holding at eye level to get an accurate measurement” (thanks, Mom and Mrs. Eldridge who taught the 4-H cooking classes in Lewiston, Idaho).

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  1. Sorry you aren't feeling well, but it's a smart move to take it easy and let the body recover. Besides, your friends/neighbors/co-workers will appreciate you not spreading the joy. :-)

    Stay home. Eat soup. Watch old movies.

  2. Best advice I've heard?

    Don't know if it's the best, but I like, "Never argue with stupid people. You won't learn anything and they don't know when they have lost."

  3. Andy, I love it. A tax on stupid would solve all our government funding problems. The only catch is how we measure and then collect.

    And for the record, I would certainly have to pay my share. :D

  4. We here at #LetsBlogOff are vey glad you got sick. Oh, wait, that didn't come out right, but without you getting sick, we would not have been introduced. Silver lining :-)

    We've gotten to think of ourselves as a work cog first and a human being second. We're losing something there, but if you listen closely to the generation coming up, I think they may start reversing this a bit. I hope they do.

  5. Thanks, Rufus. Good dog! I too regard it as a silver lining. Serendipity is a wonderful thing.

    But I ab still biserable two days after writing this post; this bug really got hold of my upper respiratory system.


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