I have never liked sick days. Not when I was a kid, not when I was in college, not now. And I don’t think I ever will.
If you ask my mom, she’ll definitely tell you that when I was in school and would wake up feeling like something close to the black plague had hit me, I would still insist on going to school. “But I have a test today. That paper is due in third period. I’ll be so far behind on my in-class assignments. How am I going to know what my homework is?”
I’ve been doomed from the start. Yes, I did occasionally skip a class or two in college when I was sick, but I never felt OK about it. (Which could explain why I once left a three-hour seminar to go to the bathroom, throw up, and return for the rest of the session. Of course, that was when I was studying in Australia, and it was an entirely different kind of sick…but we won’t get into the details.)
But at least back then, “sick days” could still be kind of “fun.” When I was too young to stay home alone, my mom would drop me off at my Nana’s house. I would bring books or toys and watch her go through her morning routine. We would watch The Price Is Right and QVC. I would build castles with wooden blocks and color some pretty stellar pictures. Nana would make me soup for lunch and we would both take an afternoon nap.
Once I was a little older, sick days meant fending for myself at home. A can of Spaghettios, the TV completely to myself to catch up on those all-important episodes of Fraggle Rock, Under The Umbrella Tree, Gummi Bears, Rugrats (the guilty-pleasure little kid shows I still enjoyed) followed by Ricki Lake, Jenny Jones, Jerry Springer (my older sister’s influence) and then TRL and The Rosie O’Donnell Show. Then I would patiently wait for my best friend, Julie, to call me and tell me what I missed in school – or maybe I’d be lucky enough for her to stop by and bring me my work.
High school meant you were definitely getting that work delivered to you, but most often at the hands of your parent who had been in touch with each of your teachers about what you were missing and even took a trip to your locker to get the textbooks you forgot to bring home. Ever the overachiever, this was always a bit of relief to me. I wanted to stay on top of the work while I could. But I definitely still got my share of The Price is Right and any other tv I wanted in at that time.
In college, sick days meant I could sit around and have a constant rotation of company. Roommates, suitemates, hallmates, friends… they all had classes at different times and were totally willing to stop by and say hi and indulge in yet another marathon of Gilmore Girls with me.
In the real world though… sick days suck, man. I’m now on week four of being on medical leave from work and I’m out of ideas. I’m tired of reading. I’m pretty sure I’ve listened to all my long-neglected music in my iTunes. I’ve written in my journal. I’ve completed menial tasks I’d put off for four years, like importing six CDs of music my roommate in college gave me (I’m not kidding). Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest can only be refreshed so many times. I’m 100 percent tired of television. (Y’all, there is nothing on during the day. Don’t feel like you’re missing out. Well except for The Price Is Right. That never gets old.)
When you’re well, all you want to do is lie in bed and watch tv and have no responsibility. But when you’re unwell, you tire of these things at record speed and want nothing more than the comfort of your office and work responsibilities.
So if anyone is at work and needs a break or a distraction – please, please, please feel free to text, call, gchat me. I’m here and ready to meet your distraction needs. Unless I’m napping. Then I’ll get back to you.