Sick Day

So here’s the thing: I’m sick this week. Probably not the entire week, but certainly for the 48 hours where I normally write my blog posts for the week (aka The Weekend). I am lying in my bed, sweating and coughing up unpleasant substances. I am all aches and nausea. It feels like someone has replaced my lungs with flesh backs of gravel and razor-blades.

I despise being sick.

We live in a culture where people make jokes about man flu and shit, but that’s never really been my thing. I will power on through the flu. I spent years of my life working as a contractor and casual employee while I did my degree; if I didn’t work, I didn’t get paid.

If I didn’t get paid, I didn’t pay rent.

And I always paid my rent. The idea of running late on those payments was unthinkable to me, no matter what happened. I’d load up on cold and flu tablets and teach classes, despite having the kind of head-cold that made me sound like an adult character from the Peanuts cartoons. It wasn’t pretty, and I pity the poor students who had to listen to me, but it got the job done.

Basically, all this one of those things that no-one ever tells you when you pick writer (or, really, any freelance gig) as your career plan. You don’t get sick days, really. You don’t get holidays. You just get…well, periods of time where you do the best you can while feeling under the weather, and the occasional bout of illness where your body objects to you ignoring all the illnesses.

Which is why I may be sweaty, aching, and struggling to breathe, but  I’ll still drag Shifty Silas the Laptop to my sickbed and try to peck out some word-count on the current project and get a couple of blog posts done. I may have a day-job that gives me sick leave these days (and hell, that’s pretty damn shiny), but every instinct I’ve got says I should be working.

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