The Pull of Productivity

I came home sick today. A sudden, severe wave of nausea while I was doing some paperwork was all I needed to convince myself to take it easy and head home for my couch. When you’re planning to work on patients, it’s best if you aren’t expecting to hurl mid-procedure.

So now, here I am, with some unexpected downtime. Taking said downtime feels difficult. I have this need to feel productive, even though I am legitimately unwell. I was thinking I should take the time to at least read a self-help book or something, but I’m going to fight the urge and lie down on my couch for awhile. I’m turning on Netflix and sipping ginger ale.

Okay, and blogging, apparently.

Do you think it’s some sort of disorder that I’m feeling guilty for not being productive, even though I’m sick? Surely I’m not alone in this. Why are we like this? Why is keeping “busy” seen as desirable? Why isn’t taking care of yourself and letting things slide when you need to something that we aspire to? It’s far more common for people to talk about never taking a sick day than it is for people to brag about cancelling social engagements and going to bed early so that they recover from a cold more quickly.

In what is so often a season of extreme hustle and bustle, please give some thought to putting yourself first. In doing so, you might even be able to serve those around you even more successfully because you’re healthier and happier. And you might be able to keep that nasty virus to yourself, which means that those around you will also be happier and healthier, and that’s a gift that everyone loves to receive. That nasty virus? Not exactly the kind of gift that keeps on giving.


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