You know how if you come back to Facebook on your computer after an hour and you have to hit Refresh to see the latest newsfeed? Well this weekend I hit ‘Refresh’ on my life.
Seven years ago this Tuesday I woke up and physically couldn’t get out of bed. I’d spent a year ignoring virus after virus and soldiering on. I had a boss that didn’t ‘do’ illness, and considered anyone who took a day off sick to be pulling a fast one. So that Tuesday, following yet another bout of sinusitis, my body decided that if I wasn’t going to take any notice of it’s requests to slow down, it was going to make sure that I stopped. For six and a half months. And a further three years to recover fully. During that time, I was forced to adopt a number of self-preservation protocols, including extreme self care. That meant downing tools at the first sign of illness to make sure I had enough energy to get over it. At first this was a sensible measure, in time it signified a fear that my illness was returning.
As I recovered fully, many of my self-preservation protocols fell by the wayside; no longer serving any useful purpose they were able to be discarded. But the extreme self care continued. It’s really important to look after yourself, but perhaps not to the extent that I’ve been doing. So this weekend I was faced with a choice. I had a full weekend planned: dinner with a friend who was up from London on Friday; dinner with school friends on Saturday, one of whom is over from Australia; a walk and lunch with friends of ours on Sunday. And on Thursday I came down with a cold. It’s been one of those grim ones, where all I want to do is crawl under a duvet and wait it out. And even a few months ago I think I would probably have done just that. But this weekend I decided to honour my commitments and take my cold with me.
For most people that’s just par for the course: what’s the big deal. And seven years ago, I would have agreed: it wouldn’t have occurred to me to stay home. But then seven years on Tuesday happened. And since then I’ve put my health first, above and beyond anything and everything. And while it’s still one of the biggest blessings I have in my life, I can’t let it govern all. Giving in to every illness once served a very important purpose in my life. No longer. Refresh! 🙂