Tuesday, February 21, 2006

sick day

I can’t stand being sick. I dislike it so much that I ignore the signs as long as I can. But after a night of bleeding from my ear I thought it would be a good idea to take a sick day and visit the doctor. Apparently my eardrum had burst due to an ear-inflamation. Guess that was my punishment for pretending the major cold I’ve had for the last week and a half wasn’t as bad as it sounded and felt. The doctor taps me on the sinus area and asks if it hurts. When I tell her “Not really”, she mumbles to herself “Or you just have a high tolerance of pain”. And her face when I ask if she thinks it’s ok to go back to work tomorrow is either saying “She must be kidding!” or “This girl belongs in the loony-bin!!”. That’s when it hits me that I’m doing the same thing my mom is doing! And not the good stuff my mom does that is. Cause she is a fantastic person. One time in the late nineties in my happy California days I was interviewing for a CFO position at this medical company in Silicon Valley. They had some good antibiotic product of some sort. When I asked the GM what he expected from the CFO he got very theatrical on me and started to say things like “I want the accounting department to be sexy!, I want it to be exciting!”. That’s all good I guess, but not exactly how I viewed my job at the time, so I made good use of my professional stone face and did not show him whether I agreed or not. Cause frankly: I had a hard time finding a comeback to those statements.

The next person in that office that interviewed me was a woman in her fifties. I don’t even remember what her position was. She asked who my hero was, who I looked up to. Not exactly one of my rehearsed questions like “name three strengths and three weaknesses. Where do you see yourself in five years?” and so on. Without a lot of hesitation I told her: my mom. Not sure where that one came from. But right then and there I realized how much I admire my mom. Her ability to see if people are genuinely nice or not. She is always right about my friends: who cares about me and who will not be a good friend when push comes to shove. My mom sees the importance of making the “every day life” special since there are so many more of the workdays than the holidays. I love that about her! No matter if it has been times with very little money (when I was just born and mom and dad was still going to the University) or when times where good and we had loads (exaggeration…) of money. She always makes sure that the weekdays are pleasant (as well as the weekends of course). Another thing I admire is her strive to further her education. She has a gazillion University credits and is still so humble. Not sure if humble is the correct word to describe what I mean, but she has constantly worked on getting my sister and me to not judge people based on their education, wealth and other things, but to look to the kindness within. Not sure if that’s how she would describe what she is doing, but it’s definitely how I have interpreted her and my dad’s upbringing of us.

There are plenty more good things to say about my mom, but that’s not what I thought about when I sat at the doctor’s office. No, it’s her denial of feeling pain or being sick I’m talking about. How crazy isn’t that! To me it’s insane to “ignore” the stomach pain until you pass out and the ambulance has to rush you to the incentive care. Or never take a sick day in your life because you don’t want to mess up the other peoples’ already tight schedules. There are more examples I can tell about my mom, but I think the picture is clear. And it hit me that I’m doing almost the same thing! What is wrong with me?! Why don’t I think I have the right to be sick and week and need help?! I know that “no-one loves a whiner”, but at some point it is ok to feel some pain. As a matter of fact, it’s even ok to admit to being tired even if you haven’t run a marathon. On an intellectual level I do understand this, but I tend to forget it when I’m out there in “real life”. It’s probably closely related to the problem all “strong women” have. If you act as a strong person, not everybody understands that you also need a shoulder to cry on from time to time. Just because you are strong most of the times, doesn’t mean that you are strong all of the times. Don’t take strength for granted and don’t think it comes without effort. Or like for beautiful people: they too need to hear that they are beautiful every now and then. Don’t take for granted that how you view others is how they view themselves. If perception is reality: we all have different realities.

To get to the point: I am a work in progress, and learning that it’s ok for me to make errors, feel pain, be sad, not be in charge etc. is something I’m slowly realizing. Especially my sister and a very good friend of mine have helped me with this. Maybe it has to do with having enough support around you so that you can let go of the responsibility. Knowing that the responsibility is just my imagination and there are plenty of people around me who will let me cry on their shoulder or bring me stuff from the grocery store when I’m ill. I thought I had come further in that process than denying my sinus cold until it developed into something nastier. I usually describe myself as a person with an old soul, but today I feel like a blank piece of paper that has learned nothing from the past.


Blogger ~Deb said...

Sorry you're feeling awful. My nephew's eardrum got infected and eventually did burst.

You're so fortunate to have a mother who encouraged you. In my post today, as you know, my mother never did that for me due to reasons of her own. Never wanted me to further my education or travel, etc. She was a bit lenient. I admire parents who encouraged their children to further their knowledge, and to not judge those who are less fortunate. Your mom sounds like a special lady.

Anyway----drink lots of water---lots of soup (sodium is a great natural antibiotic) ...even though I blow up like a fricken tick when I have it---it's good when you have an infection. Vitamin C----take LOADS. And rest. Be good to yourself and don't worry about anyone else's 'tight schedule'.

Wishing you the best of health!

3:40 PM  
Blogger Åsa said...

Thanks Deb! I feel much better today :-) Unfortunately we don't have chicken-noodle-soup in Sweden, so I have to wing it here.

And all moms have baggage just like the rest of us. Guess that's why they aren't perfect either. It does sound like you have forgiven your mom for her ways though, and isn't that the biggest thing of all: forgive and take responsibility. (I hate being a grownup sometimes...) ;-)

10:45 AM  
Blogger nosthegametoo said...

It's a great blessing to have such an insightful mother.

I too have been blessed. It's something rare indeed.

12:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Standing on the paveing,
by the office building.
They got so much to do,
never time for you."

Anna Ternheim "Shoreline"

11:59 AM  
Blogger Åsa said...

Well "nosthegametoo", it's better to count your blessings than the bad stuff. Not everything is good, but who cares at this point!

"anonymous", thanks for the quote. Ms. Ternheim sure got some good lyrics, especially if you want to bring out the sad and lonely feeling. Always good for contemplating and reflecting :-)

1:11 PM  
Blogger ~Deb said...

I have forgiven her. It's just constant with her though, you know? And each time I forgive her. God says, if someone goes against you 77 times, then forgive them 77 times. I went out the other day and got her a huge boquet of roses and told her I loved her. I try...I really do. She's just impossible sometimes...It's just her character. Hope that explains. But yes, forgiving is a huge thing!!!!! :)

Thanks Asa! Hope you're feeling much better today!

12:09 PM  
Blogger nosthegametoo said...

Interviews and being sick, definately two things I'm not fond of. I can defiantely do without both.

1:12 PM  

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