Time for an update about what’s been going on for me since I quit my job. (Typing that just made me squeal with delight.)
Body falling to pieces
I mentioned in my last post that there was much sleeping and recovering. I hoped that would be the end of the physical-falling-apart part.
Last week I wound up with a massive crick in my neck that lasted two days.
And three nights ago? I went to bed with a scratchy throat, which turned into sinus pain, sore throat, and a fever by the next day.
By my count, that’s three body things in a row I’m dealing with.
It’s setting off my inner hypochondriac. (I suppose the infinite reruns of House might deserve some of the blame.)
Besides the basic frustration of low productivity, it’s kind of scary, what with my history of using illness to have a legitimate reason not to do things.
I’m not aware of wanting to avoid anything in particular lately. I mean, it’s not like I’ve been trying to go to something scary like an in-person networking event. *shudder*
Crossing my fingers that it’s just a coincidence, or left over ick from coming down off of 10+ years in soul-sucking jobs.
Lots and lots of patterns showing up
When I came down with this cold, I became very aware of not being able to call in sick.
And then there was this domino effect of noticing several related patterns.
I was a sick time hoarder.
Whenever I had a job that included paid sick leave, I usually wouldn’t allow myself to use it when I needed it.
Either I’d save the sick days in case I needed them even more later in the year, or I’d save them to “call in well”. Yet, I rarely felt like I could justify a mental health day, either.
I keep trying to work even if I feel like crap.
Quite often, even when I’m not productive at all, I continue to sit in front of the computer.
A few years ago, I had shingles – shingles, people! – and at most I only took a half day off. And that was at a time when due to some corporate restructuring, I had quite a bit less than 40 hours of work to do every week.
Which brings us to…
If I’m being paid a salary, they own my time.
brainwashed convinced that if an employer was paying me a “full time” salary, I needed to be “available” at least 40 hours a week. It didn’t matter if there wasn’t work for me to do.
This one is big, and deeply ingrained. This is where sovereignty and deinstitutionalization become important. I don’t think I have much to share on that, yet. It’s still very much in process.
I have some warped views around self-care.
Somehow the combination of not having the option to use sick time, being sick, and noticing my own frustration that I’m having to rest more than usual made me realize this one.
Here’s my thought process:
When I’m not sick, I have a certain health baseline. Then, if I improve my self-care practices, I’m raising my baseline (in theory). But when I’m sick, I’m starting from a lower baseline, so the extra self-care, at best, gets me back to my lower healthy baseline.
All of which leads to some resentment around self-care while sick.
Yes, I know it makes no sense to look at it that way, but maybe some of you relate.
Hello, writer’s block
Once I got over the initial week of quitting, I had some ideas for larger writing projects I wanted to tackle.
Somehow I started thinking this new writing was different from trying to write for my blog while having a job. I had crazy expectations around my writing.
In the end, it’s not really different. I’m still me. And my writing is my writing.
How did I (start to) dissolve the block?
I talked to my support network, most of whom have been writing for a while. And they gave me permission to stop setting those expectations.
It’s amazing what a little permission can do.
This coming week-ish
Getting healthy! In fact, I’ve scheduled a nap and it’s on my calendar! Now that I’ve gotten a whole new awareness of my sickness/self-care patterns, it’s already easier to pry myself away from the computer.
More writing, I hope. I’m considering an Ask Victoria series. Have questions? Post them in the comments or send them via my Contact page.
Client sessions. Have I mentioned that my clients are the awesomest? Right now I only have two slots open for new clients.
Preparing to teach a class for Havi’s Kitchen Table group. Super excited about that.
Has the reality of this change set in, yet?
On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being “fully aware of this new reality,” I’d have to give the last ten days a 3.
In the Not Aware column:
It still feels like this is some looong weekend. So long that Sunday Night Syndrome hasn’t kicked in.
In the Becoming Aware column:
Noticing the lack of sick time and the fact that I couldn’t work definitely had an impact.
Even though it was misplaced, I think the writer’s block was a sign that I’m aware that life is different, even if writing isn’t.