Don’t Get Sick, Get Some Priorities

by Lisa Rothstein on 07/28/2013

I’m sick in bed today. Probably tomorrow too.

But here’s what’s REALLY  sick…I’m looking forward to it. Because being sick is one of the only excuses I will accept for slowing down and not working every waking minute, so I can give myself permission for a whole day of lying around, daydreaming, and thinking about (and even getting stuff done on!) my creative projects.  It’s downtime with a purpose.

It shouldn’t have to be this way. 

Some might say that with better time management or organization, I would be able to carve out the time for these important things. But it’s really not about that. There have been plenty of times I’ve made “play dates” with myself and even put them on the calendar. “Real work” always seemed to swoop in and peck away at that “me time” until only crumbs were left.

So getting a cold — bad enough for me to stay home in pajamas with impunity, but short of pneumonia — is the only free pass I get to do things like draw my comic strip or write my portion of my book, or even this blog.  Of course, breaks involving tea and  BBC Classic on Netflix are part of the plan too.  It reminds me of being too sick to go to school, but not so miserable that I couldn’t enjoy Oreos and Batman.

Now that I am a grownup, it sure would be nice to allow myself a regular guilt-free day like this even when I am healthy.  The crazy part is that since I am an entrepreneur and make my own hours (in theory) I should be able to do this whenever I want. It’s one of the perks. But it’s not one I have been exercising.  I work harder and longer now than I ever did in a job. Those of you reading this who went from corporate to hanging out your own shingle know what I am talking about.

It all comes down to believing that your creativity and talents are as important to nurture as your health — and as critical if you ignore them. Otherwise, the “urgent” stuff of today — even though it won’t matter a year from now — will always come to steal your time and focus.

Do you let demands from your clients, family or just everyday life keep you from taking time to enjoy your talents? Do you feel guilty or indulgent when you do things just because you love them?  Do you need an excuse — like being sick — to have a guilt-free  day for play or rest? Please share in the comments! 


{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Ruth Hill July 28, 2013 at 7:35 pm

I am one who tends to push the limits. I am constantly working, but I do give myself littel breaks. Sometimes I feel guilty about those breaks, but I know I need them. Hope you get to feeling better!
commenting from the UBC.

Lisa Rothstein July 28, 2013 at 7:36 pm

Thanks Ruth! We do need breaks, and to feel OK about using them!

Holly Higbee-Jansen July 28, 2013 at 8:01 pm

Yes, I am the same way. As an entrepreneur for 20 years, it has become harder and harder to not work constantly. My husband and I both work in the business, so we talk about it constantly too, so we have laid down some rules so we don’t live and breath work. Feel better, and next time, take that time for yourself without your body telling you to do it!

Linda Ursin September 23, 2017 at 3:59 am

I make sure to get rest during the day when I have time to myself. Otherwise, I don’t get any rest even if I’m in a pain flare-up or sick. I have pets, a kid, and a man-child.

Lisa Rothstein September 26, 2017 at 8:29 am

Yeah Linda… the problem comes when only being sick is a good enough “excuse” to take time for ourselves!

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