After all the ennui that has been plaguing me like rats in an unsanitary medieval town, I had big plans. They were such big plans I ought to initial cap them to signal their Bigness and Planniness . I pulled out my notebook, put together a short but do-able to-do list that would make a satisfying dent in my giant life to-do list that includes things along the lines of “learn to fly a helicopter in combat” and “appreciate the morning dew,” and went to bed at a sort-of reasonable hour with great fortitude and hope in my heart.

Then I woke up at a reasonable hour and laid there. I opened my laptop and poked around on it, and then put the laptop away and looked at the ceiling and sighed and put a pillow on my head and dozed and dozed and dozed and dozed. Then I got out of bed and was promptly extremely ill, and I have to tell you, my very first thought–possibly my second or fourth after a string of curses and a little bit of wailing and the gnashing of teeth was relief and happiness and the sensation of a heavy object, possibly boulder-shaped or with boulder-like qualities, certainly weighty, lifted off my shoulders and heaved right into the atmosphere.

It wasn’t a mental deficiency, a state of emotional retardedness, it wasn’t me being broken or dealing poorly with the world and the demands upon me which it places. It wasn’t me being stupid, or scared or weird or messed up or silly or lazy or a combination of any or all of these things in varying degrees and to a variety of extents–it was because I was sick, or getting there. Some small portion of the back of my head recognized the signals that my body was sending and said whoa there, missy! We’re just going to take it a little easy right now, because otherwise you will be experiencing an episode of explosive embarrassment right in the middle of the canned goods aisle, if you know what I mean. Oh, body, I think I do.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that I am not, in fact, mentally deficient, emotional retarded, broken, or unable to deal with the world and its demands. It is still entirely likely that if I hadn’t turned out to be horribly sick, my underlying laziness and rabbity terror would have been revealed, panting and naked and trapped, bug-eyed with its heart shivering so hard you can see it through the practically translucent skin of its chest. Because in my head I look a little bit like Gollum having a massive coronary episode.

But I don’t have to deal with that quite yet. Right now I can just drink tea and shuffle around wrapped in blankets that I pull over my head and sigh deep and feel crappy and put off having to deal with my to-do list and my obligations for one more day or a few more days, with a clear conscience and a little less shame, a smidge less self-flagellation. If I contract some kind of long-term slightly uncomfortable, debilitating-but-not-fatal disease I may never have to accomplish anything ever again!

6 Replies to “excuses”

  1. Really, how sad is it that the closest things we get to true vacations are legitimate sick days? I always feel a little relieved and glad when I get sick, too, even when I feel like death, for all of the reasons you mentioned. That’s about the only time I really get to rest and not feel too guilty about it.

    I hope you get to feeling better, though. If I didn’t live several states away — and were not in reality a complete stranger — I would come over and make you soup and hot toddies.

  2. I kinda wish I could get the flu or something so I’d be able to blame my hide-under-the-covers-and-waste-the-day-away lassitude on something other than my own lack of motivation to get on with everything I know I should be working on. I’ve got high hopes for this year and yet I find myself doing my best to avoid putting the work in I have to in order to achieve my goals. Le Sigh

    I’d really like to just wake up some morning and BE the woman I want to be, living the life I always dreamed of. But without all that pesky work I’d have to do to accomplish those things :)

  3. Im super happy that your blogging here! Love the page for sure.

    I hope you feel better and become the super productive achiever that you so long to be. :)

  4. If it makes you feel better, I Went Against The Wishes of My Advisor (which simply isn’t *done* in grad school) and told him that I am taking an extra week of vacation beyond the Xmas-New Year’s block. It wasn’t a question; it was a statement of fact. I used a mixture of stink-eye and guilt, guilt from the extreme he duress he put me under while I TA’d mammalian physiology expressly because he wanted me to.

    (I am not-so-secretly scared I’ll come back to find myself thrown out of his lab. But then, I’m such cheap labor, that scenario is virtually impossible…)

    Anyway, feel better soon. :) Damn the to-do lists and respnsibilities!

  5. I’m sorry you’re sick sweetie! But glad you can lounge around a bit longer. I really like this site! It’s the first time I’ve been here! It’s like reluctantly coming into an ALL NEW Boutique that replaced your old favorite and finding out that you really, really like it! Wow.
    I personally feel a lot better now…knowing you are firmly anchored in cyberspace at this lovely address. (Selfish, I know.) Hope you are warm and cozy and feeling relaxed…

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