I drove more than three hours to my sister’s house yesterday so I could surprise my nephew on his 10th birthday. I had to be home for plumbers this morning, so I could only stay for a few hours. Cramming nearly seven hours of driving, lots of caffeine and bad-for-me food into 13 hours ensured I’d be sick today. I went anyway.
After years of constantly overdoing it and constantly being sick, I learned I become terribly ill when I push myself too much. Now I know to hold back; sometimes I think too well. I’m stuck at home with migraines so often. There’s only so much time I can give up because one might come along.
Last year, a friend taught me that I don’t have to shirk anything that might make me sick — even if it is something that I’m absolutely positive will result in at least a day in bed. She showed me I can choose certain times to push myself without doing it every single day. The trick is knowing one day of indulgence can lead to one (or more) days of feeling awful.
When planning yesterday’s trip, I factored in today as a sick day. Other than letting the plumbers in, I made no appointments or plans. I stocked up on easy food and checked out a good audiobook. By intentionally making a trade off, I feel no guilt.
I know I should never feel guilty for being sick, but I rarely do what I should. Today I can see what a reprieve it is to just let myself be as I need to be.