Giving Myself Permission to Be Sick

Sick Day | New Faculty


I’m home today. It’s a work day. It’s a data collection day. I have edits due on an article that I haven’t even started. I’m calling ‘uncle.’

I’m taking a sick day.

I should have taken several this week. And sent myself to the doctor days ago.

But I didn’t.

Because I’m stubborn.

Because I ignored my body.

And boy: did she let me know what a jerk I’d been. 

I dragged my sorry carcass to the doctor and it was deduced: a sinus infection and the flu.

Glad I got that flu shot!! 😛

I like being an outlier as much as the next person but being a statistic in the CDC database was really the icing on my nerdy, academic cake! So was the massive dose of drugs I got from the pharmacy.

As I lay awake from 2-4 a.m. this morning with a hot pack on my face trying to ease my sinus pain, I had a good chunk of time to evaluate why I let myself get so ill without realizing that it was indeed OK to admit I was feeling like crap, taking a day or two before it got really bad, and using the nice insurance I have to go to see my doctor. After two hours I only had one conclusion:

Give yourself permission.

I had this post about how to manage your calendar and schedule, but this seemed much more appropriate for the young faculty and over ambitious, perfectionist ways that we possess thinking we need to do it all, save the world, and ignore our intuition in search of the holy grail in academia. 

Give yourself permission to take good care of yourself. Don’t end up on your couch in a pile of misery like me.  

**I always think of the poem by Shel Silverstein**

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