These past two weeks of being sick has been a much needed wake-up call. I've always been one of those people who don't stop until they're forced to. After a week of chugging along at less than 100%, my body decided enough was enough and amped up the misery. I went from having an annoying cold to a nasty cold with a hacking cough to a full-on sinus headache, with a fever, a biting cold and a relentless, painful cough. I finally gave in and left my work at noon on Monday (the 24th). As soon as I unlocked the door to our apartment, I headed straight for the couch and crashed. I slept the rest of the day.
I felt much better the next day - the pounding pain behind my temples was gone - so I went into work, only to have my boss ask me if I was okay. She said I sounded horrible. I said I felt much better than the day before, but maybe I could take a day off sometime when it wasn't so busy. Then she said something that surprised me: she asked if I would consider taking the first week of July off. I said "the entire week?". She said sure, why not? The office had the Fourth off anyway, I was already scheduled to take the 28th off for a quick family getaway to Mackinac Island, why not just extend the vacation? I said I'd think about it.
I went back and forth about whether or not I could afford to take it for the next couple of days, until I finally sat down and faced the facts. I hadn't taken more than a random day off since December. I had gone six months without taking time off for myself. The 2 single days off I had taken since December hadn't really been days off. I took a day off in February to catch up on laundry/groceries. I took a day off in April to accompany my sister to her college visit day. It was now the end of June. Suddenly, I realized that I had been feverishly attached to my job at the expense of everything else. I think I was compensating for the fact that my guy is still searching for permanent work, and I tried to double my efforts, so to speak, at my job to gain back a sense of security for both of us. But that extra stress and effort came at the cost of self-care, and I willingly allowed it until my body pushed back. I got back to my boss and told her I'd take her up on that week off.
It's now July 1, and I'm back from our weekend trip to Mackinac Island. The island was just as lovely as I remembered it to be when we visited 5 years ago. I've always felt incredibly peaceful around the water, and I spend a long time reflecting on the island. I'm now back in Chicago, at the start of my weeklong staycation. Our internet and tv are actually on the fritz right now, and the earliest service appointment we could get was for this Friday, July 5. At first, I was annoyed at the inconvenience, but now, after sitting down in a cafe and nursing an iced coffee while I type this post, I feel as though the service disruption is actually a good thing. I can walk away and get out and enjoy our neighborhood. I can read all those books I've been putting off. I can make what internet time I can get (inside a Starbucks) more meaningful and purposeful. I've been given this chance to disconnect and recharge. I'm going to try to make the most of it.
My plans for this week are to get back to basics, to get "caught up", yes, but to do that slowly and meaningfully. It's nice to step off the treadmill for a little bit. I'm working on posts that make me happy, and hopefully, that's reflected in the blog. I can't wait to go through our pictures from this weekend and leisurely relive the memories as I edit and work on a post that will do justice to the beauty of Mackinac. I'm working on getting back into my workout routine that has sadly fallen by the wayside for a month now. I'm working on not working on anything that can't wait. I'm working on me.
I'm off to enjoy the beautiful Chicago weather and sunshine. I hope you're having a wonderful Monday, and thanks for checking in.