After two years of living in a global pandemic, I have high hopes for a different kind of year in 2022. While I’m attempting to live in the space of perpetual optimism, things haven’t kicked off that way just yet. In the shadow of death, I started January, battling a very nasty 3-week flu. I can honestly describe it as “the worst illness I’ve ever had the displeasure of living through.”
During week 2 of my Indian leg wrestling match with the grim reaper, I was further rewarded with a half-day field trip to urgent care due to fairly low blood oxygen levels. While my doctors contemplated sending me to the emergency room for artificial re-animation (or some such), I started to realize that I might be closer to circling the drain than I had thought. Thankfully, I convinced the doctor that I could manage at home, and they released me on my own recognizance.
Part of my treatment included a COVID swab, which weirdly came back negative two days later. After living through the remainder of the flu, I’m fairly sure that I was dealing with a false negative and did have COVID.
While my doctors contemplated sending me to the emergency room for artificial re-animation (or some such), I started to realize that I might be closer to circling the drain than I had thought.
I came out of the illness feeling extremely negative and downhearted about how I’d started the year—almost as if I’d had some choice about getting sick. I spent several days mentally beating myself up (read failure) because I’d missed so much time and had so much I wanted to do.
Skip ahead to 2 am two nights ago, and I had a mini-epiphany that I was being ridiculous. We’re living in a time when people are getting ill and dying. My getting ill was through no fault of my own. I’ve taken all the precautions recommended and done everything I can to protect myself. Yet, my insatiable drive to perform had cataloged that much-needed recovery time as a personal failure, which just isn’t true.
Work-life balance is one of those things that entrepreneurs and creatives have to constantly check in on to make sure they are not in danger of becoming a lopsided wheel. I’m notoriously bad at it. Yet, driving and pushing myself at full speed is probably part of the reason that I ended up getting sick in the first place. Affording ourselves time to decompress, mentally and physically reset, and heal is what ensures that we can operate at the top of our game when it’s important. That’s a simple bit of advice that I freely give to others, yet conveniently don’t apply to my own situation.
If 2022 is going to actually be about progress, then I need to take my own advice and focus on my well-being. As mentioned at the outset, there is a lot to do, but none of us can make progress if there’s nothing left in the tank.