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Taking Time Off to Heal

I took a few days off this week to prepare for surgery. While I’d preferred to stay at work until the day before the procedure, I decided taking a break was the best thing to do after some reflection.

There was a time I never took a day off from work unless I was made to. This included vacation time that needed to be used up at the risk of losing it. Otherwise, I was fine saving my time off for holidays that preceded and followed weekends. But this time was different.

As I prepared for surgery, I reminded myself of past occurrences where any medical treatment didn’t go in my favor. I loved to work and never took any time off to prepare for whatever it is I was needing hospitalization for. In fact, I remembered that time when I worked through the last week before my nine-pound son was born, which led to complications during delivery. I also remembered the ramifications of such zealousness. Postpartum depression hit me bad and I was exhausted for sometime after his delivery.

I can recall other memories as well, but I’m going to lay them to rest for now. Only to say that all this stuff we’re hearing about self-care is important. Taking time to decompress is critical to healthy mental, emotional, and physical function. I know because I’ve been there, done that.

As I’m writing this essay, I find myself more grateful than I’ve been in awhile. That’s another benefit to making the conscientious decision to slow down. I’ve better prepared for what’s to come, as well as the unexpected. I’m glad to say that I’m good for an entire week after the procedure. The hamper has been emptied, the dishes washed and put in their place, and my fridge has enough food to last me a month.

That’s not to say I’m not thinking of work. I’m looking forward to a healthy recovery and the opportunity to return to the hustle and bustle of my normal life, including work. But this time, it’s going to be a slow-go, as I wade in the luxury of some time off.

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