Life lately: a fog of sickness

I’ve been trying to get back into the rhythm of blogging, but every time I start writing, I get tired and have to lie down.

I’ve been sick on and off for what seems like at least three weeks now, having caught two back-to-back colds (maybe even the flu?) from friends and acquaintances. It has been brutal. My memory is shot, and the last month has been a fog. Just getting through day-to-day tasks like washing the dishes and folding laundry has required extraordinary effort.

During this time, I received word on my request to participate in the internal rotation exercise at work this year. The answer from HR was no, as I technically haven’t been in my current role for two full years. As a result, I will have to stay in this role for another year, until next June. Alternatively, once I reach the two-year mark this June, I can also start to apply for other roles within the organization.

I have a lot of feelings about this. I’ll just say that I am disappointed that I will not get to move to a new role this year, and I’m thinking a lot about where I want to go next in my career.

On the other hand, I did receive some good news as well. As I’ve mentioned in the past, I am keen to take an extended and unpaid time away from work to address burnout and fatigue. After speaking with my boss and his boss, they have both OK’d the request. I hope to take two months off this summer, one month on unpaid leave and one month using my annual leave balance.

What do I plan to do with this period away, which I am calling a “burnout leave”? Many people have asked me about this, and I haven’t made any decisions yet. Honestly, it would be amazing to sit at home for a month, just cooking, eating, watching TV and otherwise doing nothing and having no responsibilities.

This is going to sound weird and tone-deaf, but I’ve always been secretly jealous of people who have to spend a few nights in the hospital. Being ill or injured is terrible, I get that, but I dream about the part where all you have to do is lie in the hospital room, and every meal is brought to you, and your number one priority is simply to rest and get better.

I was also jealous of people who went to Asia during the first two years of Covid and had to spend two weeks quarantining in their hotel rooms. Two weeks where every meal is brought to your door, and you can just hang out in your room and read and knit and do yoga and just… enjoy this feeling of being in limbo.

When I went to Singapore in January 2022, I was confined to the hotel room for the first day, waiting for the results of my airport PCR test. I ordered Thai takeaway from an app, and they dropped it off outside my door. That was one of the best days of my life.

… Okay, looking back at what I’ve just written, it’s clear that I need to be on that burnout leave pronto. I am not well, y’all.

Self-portrait I painted recently.

Photo by J Lee on Unsplash

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