Last year I used 120 hours of sick time. This means that I missed about three weeks of work. This is the first time since I have started working that I have used this much time for being sick. My time off was not frivolous. There was the week with the ridiculous stomach thing which had me snoring so loudly that I would wake myself up. There was the fatigue, which I am sure was some type of depression, which left me unable to get out of bed for days at a time, so wiped and exhausted that it was all I could do to make the call and let them know that I wasn’t coming.
While I am thankful that I have employment which offers me compensation for sick days I have to wonder what getting sick is all about? Stress building up from the combination of home and work? Attempting to do too much without the self care I need? Something else? However, after reading the story of James Robertson, a Detroit man who walks 21 miles to work one way (ONE WAY!), I know that I need to do better. Sure, if I am sick and at risk of getting others sick, I will totally use my time but thise days when I am just feeling a case of the “Idonwannas” I am sure that I can power through, remember why it is that I love my work and make it work.
Reading James’s story makes me reexamine the life I am living. While I don’t want to walk 42 miles a day, I do find that I can push myself to be more. Be more present at the job, ignoring the shenanigans that have been making me want to hide and feel resentful of the work that I do. I can be more present at home, valuing the family and support I have instead of waiting for the mystical time of “when it’s perfect” to enjoy them. want to want more for myself, my family. I can be more for myself, rediscovering what it was that made me not be the person I used to be and not letting fear be what decides how I am going to live.
Enough about me; let’s chat about the man who has inspired this all. There is good news for James. As I type this article, a Go Fund Me campaign has raised over $100,000 to help this man get a car. The plans that this will be enough for him to buy decent transportation as well as the insurance he needs to cover it.
What a wonderful gift.