I'm home sick today. Just chilling on the couch waiting for your basic run of the mill tummy bug to pass through my system. This is honestly the third day I have taken off for sickness this year, yet I feel like I've got this image as a sickly person.
To be fair, I missed a month of work last year due to sickness. I had a tendency to let a minor illness (like strep throat) develop into a bigger illness (like scarlet fever), simply by muscling through and continuing to work and not rest.
Today, I could likely get up and muscle through my day on half power, hope I don't pass this bug on to my clients, and rest when I'm done for the day. My body has a history of not improving when I do this, though. So, alas, I'm listening to myself (for once) and taking another day off.
And I'm not happy about it.
As a self employed person with no paid sick days, This means no income for 2 days. It also means making up for the lost days by overworking as soon as I'm well enough to be back on a full schedule.
And I worry about my image. I'm in the business of helping others to be healthy. I want to appear the picture of health (however unrealistic) to the rest of the world. Yet, when I cancel a Yoga class, I have to announce online and through many phone calls and text messages "Hey world, I'm sick today!" When I take the day off from doing massage, it's not just one phone call to the office, it means calls to clients who were looking forward to their massage, many of them in some level of discomfort. It's me being ill, deciding to take care of myself for a day, and thoroughly disappointing people in the process.
Yes, I know, taking a day or 2 to rest and feel better is a good example for my clients (blah blah blah). When I've got someone I care about on the other end of the line, telling them I'm putting myself before them, I just plain wish I could crawl under a rock.
I just hope there's hot tea and a good book under that rock...