I woke up on Sunday and promptly started sneezing. "Hay fever," I thought, before popping a Claritin and setting out for my six-mile run. These days, not even constant sneezing can keep me from my Sunday run. I simply tied a rag around my waist pouch (used to carry a house key and my phone) and breathed through my mouth.
As the day wore on, the allergies didn't let up, and in the couple of days since then, my head has felt stuffed with cotton, I've been a fountain of mucous, and I've also been stuck with a raging case of The Crankies. Just ask my students, used to a good-natured, humorous teacher, who yesterday snapped, "Look, I don't even want to be here. I want to be at home, in bed, with the covers over my head," and who today snapped, "Look, I know you're determined to hate this new song but we're doing it in May so get learning it."
Every week I print out a To Do List of things I want or need to accomplish that week. Some things are non-negotiable, like paying rent at my storage unit, a meeting at work, etc. Others can slide from this week's list onto next week's, like "working on the ongoing choral library clean-up" and other tasks along those lines. I list them more or less in order of priority, and I feel a lot of satisfaction as I tick them off my list. While it's rare I actually complete a whole list in a week, it gives me something to strive for. And this week, I have a pretty full list.
With our choir tour coming, and other craziness as the end of the school year approaches, there are more and more things that simply need to be accomplished, and this week, I find it hard to focus. My body is reminding me to rest for a few days, to allow it to get better, but my brain is screeching at me to GET STUFF DONE!! With as busy as my schedule is--the high school, the private lessons, SCSO, my regular workouts--I'm pretty set in the times I need to be out and the times I can be at home.
Yesterday, I had a few hours between school and SCSO to come home and relax. I read for a bit, dozed for a bit. Finally, after dinner, I got dressed and put my contacts back in...only to stare at myself in the bathroom mirror and think, "I have no business driving a car."
I called my section rep to let her know I wouldn't be at rehearsal. As foggy as I felt, a 45-minute drive and two-and-a-half hours of singing just wouldn't be good for me. Then there's the drive back home. She was very understanding, as I rarely miss rehearsal, and I know my voice sounded terrible.
But here's how I roll--I felt guilty. I'm supposed to go to choir. I have to justify to myself staying home from an activity I pay to do, when the reality is I have no business being out and about when I feel this crummy. And take a sick day at work? You must be joking. I'm not contagious, and there's stuff needing doing. So I tough it out, and feel guilty when things fall by the wayside a little bit.
As I said to Mom this afternoon, "I really need to give myself permission to slow down a little." She gave me that timeless Mom Look and said, "Yes, you do."
That's easier said than done. I take my responsibilities very seriously, and I enjoy what I do. It's hard to feel like I'm letting myself and others down. Let's not even start on how I feel about missing a run this morning. But I am learning that in order to do my job well, sometimes I have to step back from it and let my body have a moment to rest when it's telling me, "Lady, slow down for a minute." Which is what it's telling me now, as "hay fever" seems to be moving more towards, "You've got a cold!"
So I soldier on, but I'm giving myself time to rest as I can grab it. Instead of staying at work this afternoon, I came home for some pajama time before my private lessons start. I'll go to the gym tomorrow, but do light duty. I'm making myself go to bed earlier, relax with a book a little more, drink a lot of water. I know, in another day or two, I'll be back to normal.