I’m at home today, taking the day off from the office for what is my first sick day in a year and a half on the job, and who knows how many years before that was my last sick day. Aside from leaving early one afternoon shortly after starting back in 2009 due to a bad fever, I’ve battled through serious colds and other pains as part of my American upbringing on guarding your sick days. Growing up, we rarely had an excuse to get out of school, and while some kids would spend the day at home with a cough, I needed a fever over 102* to get out of class. This “you better be dying” outlook has stayed with me in my professional life.
I’m not exactly dying just yet, but in serious need of a little buffer. It’s been over a year since the last vacation and I guess my body is starting to break down. On Monday night after the pub quiz I only had a lonely slice of pizza left for a late dinner, and a lack of food in the house gave me nothing to eat for breakfast on Tuesday. I tried to counter that at work by drinking mate, and though I in all honesty didn’t drink much more than I normally do, I think the lack of food and high amounts of caffeine (I put sugar in my mate) caused a sort of “mate overdose.”
I started out very jittery, cold but sweating. My heart rate seemed increased, though the pulse was normal. If anything the beating was just more pronounced. I realized I needed to eat some food, and at lunch I had my standard sandwich, though it only sufficed for a short period. My head began to pound and though I should have just gone home then, I again tried to battle on and do my work. I bought a Coke and took an aspirin for the headache, but only afterward I was informed that drinking Coke and taking aspirin was a way for kids to get high back in the day.
I finally finished my assignment and took off early, a big 15 minutes before the end of the day. A 30 minute nap once I got home made me feel slightly better, but waking up this morning my body still felt off. I just felt empty and with absolutely no power to go through the steps and make it downtown. My head hurt and I decided to avoid pushing it any further and just take it easy for a day. So sitting back in bed I tried to think of what I would do today, and to remember what I used to do when I had summers free.
On a typical day I would wake up at my leisure, make breakfast and watch some TV (most likely ESPN Sportscenter, maybe a couple times through). I might have then gone to the gym, come back and made lunch, then spent the afternoon watching TV, playing video games in the air conditioned basement, sitting on the backyard porch reading with a glass of Arizona Iced Tea, or meeting up with friends. What a life of luxury, in retrospect. But back then it was just a standard, boring day in the summer trying to kill time. I wish, oh how I wish I could have that again today.
After being so busy all the time and constantly running from one thing to another, I find it difficult to slow down and just take the day as it comes. I need to rest and relax anyway, so there’s no need to run off to a non-existent amusement park or take a city tour. I can catch up on some reading and writing, and hopefully be good to go tomorrow morning. It’s just a shame that my record had to end, but I suppose I can begin to rebuild tomorrow.