|Kelly and the girls at the Northeast Florida Fair in Callahan...Yee Haw!|
Saturday, I took the girls to the fair with a friend and her daughter, and that’s where I believe Olivia and I picked up the intestinal virus from hell. We both started feeling poorly Sunday and by Sunday night were running high fevers. Suffice it say things got worse from there and we spent all day Monday and Tuesday either in bed or in the bathroom. Livvie’s started clearing up Tuesday afternoon, and she was actually able to go back to school yesterday. But mine showed no signs of letting go and I was also becoming very congested and developing a very bad cough. I finally broke down and went to the doctor yesterday; I must admit I was honestly afraid to be away from the bathroom for the 30 minutes it takes to get to my doctor’s office. He diagnosed me with a severe intestinal virus (duh!) and a severe sinus infection….two totally unrelated illnesses that just happened to attack me at the same time. He put me on an anti-viral and a Z-pack and sent me home to drink lots more fluids and go back to bed. I’ve lost seven pounds since Sunday. Luckily, so far Sarah and DH have shown no signs of either illness. Hopefully that won’t change!
Yes, I know that’s my body speaking to me…telling me that I’m overdoing it. Yet you know what? I look back at the past two months, and there’s unfortunately very little I could have done differently. (This is the same issue I have with the whole “you make time for what’s important” line of thinking I so often hear…frankly sometimes there is simply just not enough time in the day). I cut things out this Fall. I made a conscious decision to cut out one show and chose a show close to home for October so I could sleep in my own bed; I chose not go to any September games, so I had no travel in September; and I told my guitar teacher that I’d have to forego my lessons the entire month of October, but none of that helped. It was my work schedule that put me over the top, and that, unfortunately, short of quitting my job, is out of my hands. And this week was a big one, with our biggest Fall term event plus two screenings of a national film we’d been planning for months plus a very important college-wide training for which I am one of the process leaders. And nope, the world did not come crashing down because I wasn't there (at least as far as I know…I’m not at work after all, but I haven’t gotten any “the world has come crashing down” emails from my assistant, God bless her).
My point in all this? Not sure, but I’ll give it a shot. First, to the moms out there who are in the same boat as I am, working a very demanding full-time job while also trying to raise your wonderful children and work on your creativity, whether it’s a business or a hobby, listen to your body when it starts telling you that you need a break, and take it. You deserve it, and you need it. And while you’re at it, listen to your heart when it’s trying to tell you that maybe you need a change, and see what you can do about that too. I’ve been working on that part, but I haven’t come up with a workable option yet. It makes me sad to think that I may have to give up some of the things l love (like my art or music) because my job can be so draining.
And for the moms who live very different lives from me, who work from home or whose creativity is their work, and have time at home with your children…even when you may feel like pulling your hair out because your toddler has smeared spaghetti sauce all over your kitchen cabinets (or your couch), revel in the idea that you have the freedom to be there for that, that you are not in that 8-to-6-plus grind, that you are there for all those little moments working moms miss. It may not seem like the cat’s meow to you, but sister, I know many a working mom out here who would love to lick out of that bowl.
For me? Something’s gotta give. Not sure what that’s going to be yet, but I’ll keep working on it. Right now though, I think I’ll go drink some more Gatorade and go back to bed. Hope you are feeling well!