Practice Vs. Perfect

I made some goals for this year, a scant handful of posts ago. I wrote them down and shared them with you. But, you know, as people do, I also had other, secret goals. Like "write every day." And "continue to get up at 4:30 in the morning to get writing time in." And "complete the January Writing Challenge with flying colors."

I have not written this past week. I did not finish the January Writing Challenge. I have not been getting up at 4:30 in the morning for the last week.

I got that horrible whatever-it-is that's been going around. The one that comes on like a flu or a cold, drops on you like a shit brickhouse (that's the expression, right?), and, when you're at your weakest, sucker-punches you in the solar plexus. Your body becomes the most exclusive club in the world, and your bouncers are a little overzealous at all exits. No food in the world can afford the cover charge, and even if it could, it would be summarily tossed out as soon as it set foot inside.

It sucked. And I got nothing done.

And I broke my streak! I've been doing really well at this whole 5 AM Writer's Club thing, and the hashtag on Twitter is full of a bunch of really nice people! And one virus later, boom, down I go.

And yeah, you gotta be gentle with yourself, but it's hard. I live in a world where work--productive, visible work--is the way you prove your value. A world where your worth as a human being is often judged by how many pieces of currency you can make for your employer in a given hour. This business of being sick is just not part of the equation. Sickness is in my consciousness as a thing that I have to just get over. It doesn't matter how many times people tell me it's fine to stay home, or to get some rest, or hunker down and take care of myself for a while. I always know it's not actually all that fine. The inconvenience I cause by being sick is something I'm acutely aware of, always.

And look, I know that's bullshit, right? Like, inconvenience?

That doesn't mean that I don't have a voice in my head all the time going, but are you really that sick? One that makes me actually relieved (and how twisted is that) when the symptoms are visible and inarguable. I threw up. That means I'm actually sick. If it's "just" a little nausea and inability to eat (for three days), it just means I'm not trying hard enough.

Yeah, this is more whining. It sure would be nice, though, if we humans figured out a way to place a higher value on empathy than on digital numbers representing paper backed by shiny rock dug out of the earth.