I’ve spent this week in bed.
Last week I worked three days, ahead of a family reunion, which I talked to you about last week in an excited blather. Far out, I was so excited my letter didn’t even make sense. So THANKS for still being here! Ha!
On my first day back at work, things went kinda screwy. I had to return a hire car, first up. So I did that - no biggie. Went to the bus stop, waited 40 minutes. Get on the bus, metrocard had been cancelled. I’m not actually a non-paying deviant, but had moved banks and there was a problem with a recharge. I’d secretly hoped that the last (unbanked) recharge would still be on it. (Wishful thinking.) I got off the bus with a sigh, had an amazing customer service experience at the Adelaide Metro desk (for real, it was brilliant), and then stood in line. Again.
By the time I got back to my office it was noon, and I was failing hard. Razorblades for a throat, sweaty, light-headed.
So I figured I’d go with the flow. I did some of the most critical stuff when I got back, and then I bailed and went to bed.
I stayed there until Saturday.
This week I’ve messaged my team on Slack, and got no replies. I don’t know if they’re looking at it. My new guy is enthusiastic but, as all newbies are, taking forever to get up to speed. (Wouldn’t it be nice if all new people turned up and suddenly knew everything? Imagine!)
One of our clients has put their contract on hold in December and January. It’s a really sensible decision for them, not so good for our cashflow.
Wailing about all of this thoughout the week, because when I’m sick everything is way more terrible than usual, and I am clearly a failure lol, my accountant said, 'Chin up! Tomorrow’s a good brain day!’ (Isn’t she awesome?). My husband said just two words: ‘Keep going.’
Then when my dad expressed his surprise that I was unwell and took the entire week off, my only response was:
‘Who cares, really? Nobody’s gonna die.’
And this brings me to the point of this week’s letter. My company doesn’t deal with people facing imprisonment. We don’t work in healthcare of any kind. We write content. We do things ahead of time, because that’s the only way to survive as a publisher. Ever met a publisher who has an idea and publishes it the same week? No, I didn’t think so.
Nobody is going to die if I have a week off.
Nobody is going to die if I don’t do any work while I’m sick.
Even if my business shut down tomorrow, nobody is going to be harmed. It would annoy people like fuck but they’d get over it. Someone else would fill the breach.
Work is not life. Health is life. Wellbeing is life.
So if you aren’t feeling 100%, and you don’t have an urgent deadline, take the damned day off. Enjoy it. Send photos of yourself at the beach (or in the bush, or sitting on your couch) to your clients, and ask them when they last had a day off.
Too many off us live as if we’re expected to be on 24/7. It’s killing us. It’s killing the planet. Find some love for yourself and your life, and step away from your work.
Maybe we could all learn a lesson from the French and have two months off in holidays every year. Life is a beautiful thing, so take the time to enjoy it while you can. Work never stops. But one day, you will.