A friend posted something on Facebook the other day about being sick and needing to relax. I messaged her, because I knew she was sick and hadn’t seen her and missed her and wanted to talk to her. Somewhere along the way I slipped in a half-joke about being “too type A to relax,” and I mentioned homework too.
Well, friends. Here I am. Sick.
And guess what? I can’t relax. Even though I don’t feel well, I still feel the need to do things. Most of these things are or are related to: reading a book for English, writing a paper for English, finishing up a presentation, catching up on math, putting together a project, and/or doing an assignment online because I can.
I haven’t done those things. At least, not finished them. I’ve denied myself the passing satisfaction.
Last night, I took my notes on Iran’s socio-economic history at one in the morning because the NyQuil didn’t work it’s not like I was going to sleep anytime soon. I have the best dorm sisters ever because one brought me tea, cough drops and tissues at midnight with the promise I could wake her up if I ever needed anything.
Today comes on the heels of that. Mostly I’ve slept. And it’s been good.
Sickness is, at its heart, an exercise in humility (and a whole bunch of physical bleh). I can’t push myself. There comes a point where I’m not going to get my work done. I won’t be able to finish. I am going to fail. I am worn and I am tired and I have to admit that to myself. It is better for me to stop, sleep, and rest than to push through it. There’s so much I have to do. I want to do it well, though. And you know what? I’m not in a position to do that right now.
So no, I’m not perfect. I’m not strong enough to handle my life well all the time. I’m not capable of balancing all the things I need to balance. I fail tests sometimes. I don’t do my homework sometimes. I need to learn to be okay with that. Because, clearly, when I’m not I don’t feel any better.
Like in Harry Potter, when Hermione says, “I’m going to bed before you two get yourselves killed…or worse–expelled.”
I, like she, really need to get my priorities straight.
I can’t base my identity off my academic performance. I’m worth more than that, and getting this worked up is selling myself short. I’m going to be okay. It’s going to take work and effort, and yes, it’s hard to look at my work and not do it. But I need this more.
I don’t think this just applies to me feeling poorly today. It’s indicative of a larger problem: I’m so locked into my little world that’s deeply defined by one thing–for me, right now, that’s school–that I freak out when I’m separated from that to the level where I can’t operate without it. If that’s where my validation is coming from, then not only to I have serious issues, but I’m missing out on so many other things.
So I’m reassessing. Well, and sleeping. And staring with contempt at my work before falling back asleep. But really: if nothing else, taking a day to realize that I can function independently of school will be good for me. Slowing down some of the pressure, and the pace, and the work. It’s nice.
Thanksgiving is coming up. I’ve got a lot to be thankful for: friends, family, overall health except for this stupid cold, my life in general. My life is kind of totally amazing. I won’t be celebrating Turkey Day tomorrow the same way a lot of people will, but make no mistake: there’s a lot of gratitude in my head and heart.
Most prominently, today I’m thankful for a warm bed, tea with honey, and half-done homework.