I’m sick, but not THAT sick.
I have a head cold. I did the right thing and had a sick day off work to rest and get well. That was on day 3. After a couple of days of taking things easy, I decided that the worst was over and re-emerged into my daily commitments, although at a reduced capacity. I was still sick, but not THAT sick.
On day 8 I still wasn’t feeling well so I went to the doctor. He checked me over, and found no infection. It’s just a virus, and it will go away.
So I continue to struggle through. I’m not sick enough to stay home and shirk on my responsibilities. There is still work to be done, and I need to pull my weight. But I’m feeling horrible, and every day is a struggle. My sleep is interrupted by fits of coughing night after night, and it is making me increasingly tired, and a little bit cranky.
Today is day 14. I’m still not sleeping. I’m still congested and feeling miserable. I have a wide selection of medications and supplements on the corner of my kitchen bench, waiting for the six-hourly schedule. But I’m not THAT sick. I can keep going and get some things done. I have moments of feeling okay, and I can push through and be as productive as possible in those moments. Then, I crash, feeling worse than ever, and head back to the couch.
In my frustration, I got thinking…
How many areas of our lives do we struggle through, sick, but not THAT sick? We are just getting by, doing what needs to be done, but only just. We ignore how we feel, keep pushing ourselves, and hope that it will get better by itself eventually.
At different times this has applied to lots of different areas of my life. I remember times when our marriage wasn’t fun, but it wasn’t THAT bad, so we struggle through, and eventually things get better. There were similar times with my parenting, my family relationships, friendships and faith. How I deal with stress and my work/life balance is often precariously unhealthy. Things aren’t great, but not THAT bad.
But when we operate in this ‘struggling through’ mentality, we have no joy, no enthusiasm. Things are a struggle, and we are often on the brink of a crash. We are far from the abundant life that Jesus promised his followers. It isn’t supposed to be this way!
Going from ‘not THAT sick’ to ‘abundant life’ seems like a lot of work. It takes time and effort to have a great marriage, a great relationship with our kids, and a well balanced, healthy life. We have to be intentional, plan, make difficult choices, and work hard. We have to prioritise health; not just physical health, but mental, emotional and spiritual health as well. It is hard work, and it requires us to make self care a priority, which is not always easy.
I actually think that the fact my body can’t throw off this virus has a lot to do with me being a bit too stressed and a bit too busy for a few months now. It has been a big year, and I’ve gotten into the bad habit of just struggling through, sick, but not THAT sick. I’ve been juggling too long, and the balls are starting to fall.
So, even though I’m not THAT sick, I need to prioritise my health for a season, and make some difficult choices. I need to to rest. I’m going to stop pushing and struggling through, and take the time I need to recover properly. It is highly inconvenient! I don’t want to let people down. There are things going on that I genuinely don’t want to miss out on. I don’t want to be still, but I do want to be healthy - abundantly healthy.
How are you? Is there some area where you are struggling through, sick, but not THAT sick? Do you need to make some difficult decisions and prioritise your own wellbeing? This is a crazy time of year, and with holidays fast approaching the temptation is to just keep going and push through. Can I encourage you to prioritise health? Be intentional, make wise decisions, take care of yourself, and choose abundant life!