Wednesday morning…! My throat is sore and my head feels like being hit by a ton of bricks! I feel muscles aching that I didn’t even know I HAD before – I don’t even care about a beautiful sunny day outside (just pleaaase keep the blinds down!)
On top of it all it is my ‘daycare day’: that usually means endless hours without interruption, productivity flowing larger than the Niagara Falls and simply the freedom of getting lots done.
Besides the fact that there were no little monsters running around when I was still finding myself in the workforce, a day like this was luxury, a godsend with a little bit of usual ‘sickness-guilt’ which completely lost its validity after THE PHONE CALL had been made and encouraging sympathies and motherly advice from dear colleagues had been collected in the process.
Hang on! I definitely have to set the record straight before I keep writing: to my ‘utter dismay’ I never called a ‘sickie’ unless absolutely necessary (and I am not writing this because there might be some people out there actually reading my blog). Confession time? Yes, why not! I’ve probably been THAT one person that might have put other people on the brink of ‘parasite-war’ – with good intentions only! I simply believe in a ‘karma-bank’ and on not being a sleaze-bag towards the people I work with. So if my brain would still be working, my hobbit-feet would carry me and I could manage to pick something half-matching out of my wardrobe, I’d probably march to work.
If the ‘serious day of emergency’ would come and I’d make the ‘terrible and selfish’ decision of looking after my health for once, it would, I have to admit, actually turn into a pleasure I’d indulge (thanks to the universe or the infected handle bar or subway seat). For once I could justify just staying at home, lying in bed all day and watching talkshows I would never have admitted of watching in the first place. At least not if still in possession of a half-sane state of mind.
I would indulge in the ‘real’ problems of the world, learn about cleavage rejuvenation and products on keeping pets cool in hot summers, witness infidelity dramas followed by physical impact… supported by a hysterical-going-audience, watch drunk actors flashing themselves at their talkshow host and/or talking about intestinal gas. Or, if I would’ve been sick on that very day, I could have witnessed Tom Cruise’s mortifying performance on Oprah – what a glorious day that would’ve been!
Dwelling in fond memories long gone, my life as an entrepreneur looks a little different nowadays. Today it’s all about ‘toughening up and getting it done either way’. No need to say that this sucks a little here and there. As there is no help in sight (in terms of a supernaturally gifted husband or a cat I could quickly train in order to get urgent work done), I have to grin and bare it. I’d think. A cosy sick-bed is swapped for my uncomfortable office chair and the formerly described topics of the world have been transformed into urgent client requests that need to be finished ‘yesterday’. Tick! A definite downside of being a soloist.
Knowing that I am prone to an over-possession of determination and commitment in my life and that I would even sit at my desk with missing limps if I had to, I have luckily learned though that it wouldn’t be smart or healthy in the bigger scheme of things to do so. It is absolutely crucial to establish a healthy back-up-plan as a soloist, if you don’t want to burn out and become successful instead in what venture you ever chose in the first place. Especially when you’re getting older and your physical abilities lose resemblance of your 21-year-old-former-self… let’s not talk about appearance!
The good news is that you can spare such an ordeal or dilemma by teaming up with other professionals in your field. By building networks and creating valuable contacts you can trust and work with, you can avoid all the worry and sweat by simply subcontracting or passing the task on for good. There are many other VAs out there, who feel exactly the same and would love to be part of a professional and supportive pool they can fall back on when an emergency situation arises.
Sitting at your desk when you’re in absolutely no shape for it might be honourable but surely not productive. Or, let’s take this a step further: … worth it in the bigger picture. Honourable doesn’t buy you ‘product health’ and, if you’d be doing it regularly, it might put your reputation and business at risk.
Sharing is caring – some wisdom along the way. Be resourceful and show integrity by being a responsible, reliable and trusted business partner to your clients and fellow peers alike.
An extra note from the author: a talkshow drama might even be the right fuel for a new boost of creativity!