That guilty feeling

Today I had the day off on sick leave. Now it may seem a coincidence that I was due back at work today, but believe me I’m no state to be back in the office. I’m still debating whether I’ll be there tomorrow.

The thing is, I’m not exactly bed-ridden. (Lying in bed is the worst thing for me right now.) I can get around without any problems. I’m eating and drinking. And I’m only in pain when I cough which, unfortunately, is every ten minutes.

And so while I wasn’t about to head down to the Gold Coast for a holiday, there wasn’t a lot I couldn’t do with my day. But whenever I did something enjoyable, I questioned whether I should be doing it.

This stems from my childhood (doesn’t everything these days?) When I was at home sick, my mother had very strong ideas about what I could and couldn’t do with my time. Reading was good. Watching television was bad (unless it was “educational”). Lying in bed was good. Playing computer games was bad. Homework was strongly encouraged, but while my mother was a remarkable woman she was no miracle worker.

And whenever she caught me doing one of these “fun” activities, she’s say the same thing: “If you’re well enough to [insert whatever I was doing at the time], then you’re well enough to go to school”. Unfortunately for her the threat was an empty one—we lived in a small country town, and the school bus only did one pickup in the morning.

It’s been nearly six years since my mother passed away. But it seems her “Do the right thing” attitude is still with me. So today I read a book (and have almost reached the magical halfway mark). I watched some educational podcasts. I slept. And while I did play one computer game, it wasn’t for very long.

Who knows? I might end up going to work tomorrow anyway. I’m not sure I can put up with this kind of guilt for another day.

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Jen January 12, 2010, 11:46 pm

    I know this well. It means that when I call in sick I spend the whole day asleep in bed, whether I’m that kind of sick or not. Because if I’m well enough to… then I’m well enough to go to school/work. I have tried to break it, to watch TV or go for a walk, but I can’t. It’s too deeply engrained. I’m sick, I sleep. That’s it.

    My mother and your mother must have shared notes.


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