I like to think I’m a high-functioning human, able to complete a multitude of tasks within a day, in an ordered fashion that enables me to progress through life.
That’s a nice idea, and it has regularly felt that way for me. 2016 is, however, teaching me otherwise.
A friend and I have this inside joke about “coasting”, whereby people do the bare minimum to get by, and somehow end up strangely successful or well-balanced in life. We loathe coasting, and are probably completely misconstruing their development. Thing is, in the last month, I’ve become a coaster, and not the type you set your glass down upon.
It’s been a regular thing, that happens about once a year, where persistent headaches and sleeplessness enter my world, and I battle it through with the help of painkillers and pretending like I’m fine. It usually lasts a fortnight and I’m fine again. This time round though, when week 3 started up all up in my face, I gave in, went to the dentist and – hey – not only is my weirdly perpendicular wisdom tooth again pressing on all my other teeth, causing all this ridiculous head stuff, but there is (well, was) a raging infection. Moreover, there are other things wrong in jawline, that have probably needed attention since about 1999.
It’s been hard to quantify to myself that I am less than par, and it’s even more difficult to explain it to others who I am fully convinced I am disappointing, whether it be professional or personal. Most people are sweet about it, some are not. We ignore and deflect the latter through ranty tweets.
So it’s worked out that I – who previously flung herself towards work every day for hours on end, demanding silence and protesting about her inabilities to get to the end of the list – actually cannot do that. As this week has gone on, I’ve noticed more and more how – between dealing with pain and antibiotics – I actually can’t compute much. So much so, that I’ve forgotten things. This is a cardinal crime, to me, because I am the biggest flipping remembering person on the planet. I have lists, whiteboards, diaries, alert systems… heck, I even have the date in my calendar app that tells me when I first kissed a boy back in… well, I won’t reveal that. I feel very much like I’ve lived in a fog for a while now, and it has yet to lift.
But being less than par no longer feels like I’ve failed. Instead, it’s taught me (well, reminded me) that self care is the best care, so putting some limitations to what I can do (even though it’s disappointing) has helped to relieve the barrel of guilt I’ve felt over being less than par. And that, sometimes, when you are not able (read: willing) to do it yourself, life will do it for you. Moreover, that you are a human. It is allowed for you to feel and be this way, for a bit.
The fog will lift soon, and I will return to being speedy supergirl soon. But, for now, I need to watch the fog a little more.