I rarely apologize or explain myself on this blog, mostly because I dislike reading why people have not posted in ages. Obviously, I’m going to both apologize and explain today. I think it will be a cautionary tale for you and maybe even an optimistic one.
Right after Thanksgiving, and I mean almost on the way home from the family dinner I started to get sick. I had the beginnings of a cold and sore throat and taking some aspirin went to bed not thinking much about it. By morning I knew I was in for a longer siege, but didn’t expect what happened. Apparently I’d caught the real flu, perhaps even A(H1N1). I began to run a mild fever, thought umpteen times about calling my doctor and just kept rolling over and sleeping… for about three weeks. No I hadn’t yet had the flu vaccine. According to my doc, whom I did talk with yesterday, I caught it early for our area.
I won’t apologize for the fatigue
The biggest talked about symptom with A(H1N1) is the incredible fatigue that goes with it. I was absolutely drained of all energy, including the energy to write for at least three weeks, maybe longer. A better way to say it may be that I’m still recovering. I was so drained that it took me a couple of weeks to come to enough to notice I hadn’t done any writing, and I usually write daily or close to it. When I did notice I couldn’t find enough internal energy to even worry about it.
If you’ve followed this blog you may have heard me say that I trust my writing and when I decide not to write for a day or even a week I know I’ll get back to it. There was no choice involved in this three week or more hiatus. I couldn’t write, or do much else, so I didn’t. I trusted my body to get well and my writing to come back, and it did. First for the non-profit I work for, Democracy Counts, and now for this blog and soon I plan to get back to writing for Medium.
Yes, I put Democracy Counts ahead of both this blog and Medium – I won’t apologize that I feel an urgency around what we’re trying to create at the non-profit that I don’t feel for the others.
In other words, I did what I needed to do to get well. Granted, this time I didn’t have any deadlines that might have cost me a gig had I not made them. If I had had, maybe I’d have been able to pull something out. I’m glad it wasn’t an issue.
I also don’t know what would have happened had I had a regular job with sick leave. My little experience tells me I might have lost my job since 3-4 weeks absence is too long for many employers.
The takeaway is really that once you’ve got your freelance writing business going you can afford to take care of yourself even if it means shutting down operations suddenly and for weeks. I’ll be curious to see the stats on this article; my hunch is they won’t be significantly lower, but I may be wrong.
Be good to yourself this year, and every year.
Write well and often,