Sick days are a part of everyone’s life unless you don’t have to report to work, or have a miraculous immune system. I am a teacher and I must report to work five days a week from August until June. Additionally, I have children of my own, and not the strongest immune system. Needless to say I am faced with the dilemma of dealing with the mad rush and terror of sick day mornings several times a year. It’s an easy call if your child is sick, because of course you need to stay home with a sick child. I am lucky to have the luxury of being able to easily make the decision because I have a job that allows for such things. My heart goes out to those that don’t have that option!
When I am ill that is a totally different situation. I agonize over the decision to go to work or stay home and take care of myself. I choose to go to school because sometimes it actually is in the best interest of students, but sometimes it’s because I don’t value my own needs enough to recognize what is in my best interest. I need financial security and having financial security means being responsible at work and that includes good attendance.
Yet what about me? Good health is one of those things we take for granted until we learn otherwise that there are no guarantees about good health. We can make life choices that nurture good health. Even then, there are no guarantees! I have lived long enough to realize that good health is paramount to living the life I want until I die. I hope I haven’t done enough damage already by putting others needs before mine, to jepardize a healthy life from now on. I must be willing to make the decision to take care of myself, and pray that in doing so I don’t loose job security because of too many sick days. I hope a balance can be reached in which the choices I make to nurture me, will result in an overall healthier life.
Maybe if sick days were more nurturing and less stressful I could give myself permission to choose my health over my job with less angst. One such memory goes back to my teenage years. An angel named Karen Walters came once a week and cleaned my Mom’s house. She went about her business of cleaning the house one particular day when I was home from school ill, but not before she stopped by my bedroom to ask if I thought I could eat something. I agreed reluctantly and went back to sleep. Before she left that morning she prepared a special meal and brought it to me on one of Mom’s beautiful trays, using a beautiful bowl and tea cup. Karen explained that her Mother used to make this dish for her when she was ill and she wished to share it with me. It was a simple meal of toast and warm milk, with a touch of cinnamon and sugar. A cup of hot tea helped sooth my sore throat and spiritless body. I ate and relished the experience. Karen’s loving nature, the beautiful tray and dishes, and of course the tasty toast left an indelible impression that day. Now when I remember that period of illness it is with fond memory and sweet sentiment.
My Mom cared for me when I was sick countless days and I don’t intend to slight her memory by recounting Karen’s story as a special memory; but it is important to acknowledge the fact that someone outside of the family, showing such a caring attitude struck me as special.
On those days when you or someone you love is under the weather, and you are home, take a moment to remember a time when others showed you tender loving care. It won’t cure your illness but it will nurture your spirit and this alone can make the day better.
I wish for you this simple pleasure, in making those horrible sick days a little Happier!