I have been quiet in the last couple of weeks due to being unwell. My health has been very good since I stopped work nearly a year ago, however this past few weeks I have been under the influence of some kind of virus that has given me low grade fevers and general lethargy. I suspect food intolerance was involved too, but you don’t get a fever from food intolerance, so there must be more to it than that. I can’t say it was too unpleasant, as the symptoms have been fairly mild, but its been enough to need frequent rests and not too much challenge.
Its strange being sick when you work from home, because its less of a dramatic change. I didn’t have to check in and explain my absence, or go to the doctor for certificates to authorise sick leave. I didn’t miss the constant need to assess whether I was “well enough to go to work” and estimating (wrongly) when I would be going back.
Being sick was a more subtle experience as it meant I spent even more time at home that I normally would, as I wasn’t able to do the many of the things that would take me out of the house. I tried to keep my hand in with a few projects, and was able to progress a few things, although I tired very quickly, and didn’t have very good stress tolerance when I encountered obstacles and difficulties. I still went through the “am I well enough” conversation with myself on a micro level, about particular projects I wanted to work on. Am I well enough to make some cards? Am I well enough to write my blog? Am I well enough to list this for sale online? I did struggle a little bit with wanting to push myself to do things when I really needed to rest and relax.
The weirdest part is now, when I am almost normal again. I feel ready to “go back to work” but there is no workplace to go back to. I am missing that part where you walk in the door and everyone says “hello stranger”. I am missing having a tangible list of jobs to get on with and projects to pickup. I am missing the people.
The work that I have been doing from home is really exploratory projects that have the potential to lead to an income, but are not yet producing enough to live on. This kind of work relies on momentum, enthusiasm, creativity, following your intuition. Getting back into that flow is very different to checking your email inbox and sifting through in your in tray. The momentum is building, but not yet flowing. I have been frustrated by the desire to do things, without the energy or concentration to see them through.
I continue to recall the advice in The Luck Factor regarding the habits of lucky people. I feel like I have a good grasp of one of the four behaviours, following your intuition. I understand being open to opportunity and turning a negative into a positive, and try to keep those in mind. The area where I am weakest is “expecting to succeed“.
One characteristic of lucky people is that they expect to be lucky. On closer examination how this works is that they behave in ways that maximise their chances of success. They put in a lot of effort and persevere to make sure they get the outcome they want. I am keeping this in mind as I am recovering my health. I am inclined to try things out without any certainty of success and there is a risk that I will underestimate the difficulty and give up too easily. Getting back out there to sell greeting cards and promote my professional organising business feels daunting as I regather my strength and focus. But I remember how much I was enjoying it before I got so rudely interrupted.