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In which I transmogrify into a wheezy snot-nosed theatrical wastrel.


After trying to fight it off all week and running a workout that probably compromised my immune system further, stuff hit the fan yesterday as I awoke feeling swimmy and washy and phlegmy and cough-y and delirious.

Hoping to avoid completely throwing away my race next week, I committed to a day on the couch nursing my ailments.

Lord, was it ever boring.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m an expert relaxer and can be as lazy as the day is long, but the obligatory laziness induced by illness is far less fun than a typical day spent relaxing.

So here’s what I did with myself yesterday:

1. I surfed the internet. This one easily took up the greatest number of hours in the day. First I spent a lot of time on the letsrun forums convincing myself that I was doing the right thing by taking a day off, and then I spent a lot of time on the city-data forums reading about all the possible areas of the country to which I may move next, and then I spent a lot of time on idealist searching for jobs, and then I searched for ways to become a science teacher for approximately the millionth time, then I became discouraged about the entire idea for approximately the millionth time, then I wondered why all my peers and college friends are now in graduate school or law school or medical school being all smart and what’s wrong with me that I have no real motivation to be there too, and then decided I’m not good at  anything and I hate being sick. 

2. I tried to nap but I ended up just feeling insecure about my life.  So I really just tossed and turned in my bed for an hour as my head fed my anxieties over what I’ll be doing next. I spent my first two years out of college serving as an AmeriCorps volunteer, and this year I’ve been working three part time jobs, two of which are essentially administrative jobs. I have a degree in biology, but right now I’m basically a secretary and I’m halfway through this decade to thirty, semi-panicking that I’ll get stuck in a holding pattern and never be qualified to do anything else.

I love the nonprofits I work for and I love the people I work with, and I get that you put in your time licking envelopes, answering telephones, and doing grunt work in the first few years out of college, but I’m beginning to feel like it’s time to get out and move forward. All told, NOT A VERY RESTFUL NAP.

3. I tried to watch a movie. I’m more of a reader than a TV person. I like for TV shows and movies to be a social experience, and I really don’t have fun trying to watch stuff by myself, so I rarely bother. Yesterday called for desperate measures, however. My roommate had a few DVDs laying around so I borrowed The Patriot and attempted to watch. I was drooling-on-the-floor bored and really wished it were Last of the Mohicans instead because Magua is a far more satisfying bad guy than Colonel Tavington and actually has a good reason to be a bad guy whereas Colonel Tavington is apparently some kind of baseless sociopath and no offense to John Williams but the Mohicans soundtrack is also way better and I like laughing at the montage of Daniel Day-Lewis sprinting up mountains near the end of the movie at what appears to be 4:00 mile pace for like half an hour.

Deep wheezing breath.

Anyway, I spent most of The Patriot in the bathroom entertaining myself by making asinine faces while rinsing out my sinuses with a saline solution squeeze bottle.

Later, I became mildly intrigued by the movie when I realized that Jason Isaacs’ character is a dead ringer for this popular girl from my high school. Enthralled by my discovery, I spent a solid ten minutes Google-image searching “Jason Isaacs Patriot” and comparing the photos of him with his hair down to Facebook photos of this girl. The similarities were astounding. Or maybe I was just feeling ill and delusional.

See? Isn't he pretty?

4. I read. Yesterday I read almost the entirety of The Bell Jar in one sitting and got close to finishing A Confederacy of Dunces.  The former was upsetting and the latter hilarious. A morbid similarity between these two works is that both authors ultimately took their own lives by way of carbon monoxide poisoning. What a pick-me-up.

5. I ran. I know. I know. But I was just getting too bored and mopey to keep sitting around the house, so I ventured to the gym for a nice, warm, climate-controlled treadmill jog and shuffled through a very low-intensity four miles. In the first fifteen minutes I felt so happy to be running, but eventually I started feeling crummy again and I finished knowing that I should have simply stayed in bed. Still, I was in a much better mood afterward.

6. I napped. Successfully or unsuccessfully, depending on how you look at it.  I can count on one hand all the naps I’ve taken in my adult life and they’ve each been related to either red eye cross country flights or illness. I’m a fantastically inept napper and always manage to either not fall asleep at all or sleep so long and deeply that I wake up having morphed into a disoriented angry dragon who doesn’t even know what day it is.

Yesterday I fell asleep at 5pm and awoke around 8:30pm. Of course I wanted nothing other than to go right back to sleep. Instead, I ate some food and then went back to bed but didn’t fall asleep until after midnight for the same reasons that I failed to nap in the first place earlier on in the day.

Today. It’s sunny out. The blue skies keep having me think I’ll leap off the couch and do something satisfying and productive with my day, but every time I stand up I realize I’m not feeling much better. Yesterday it was much easier to stay inside because it was gray and snowing, but I have no hope of keeping myself in illness confinement when the sky is blue so I will most likely attempt a run at some point. A slow one. I hope I am not being too stupid. I just can’t stand the thought of sitting here stewing and scheming over my stupid life plans all day again. On the other hand, my head hurts. 

6 Comments leave one →
  1. 03/25/2012 12:53

    I would say your day sounds like the pits, but your recounting of it makes it positively amusing. 🙂 I really do hope you feel better soon. Wishing you good insight and decision making power as you plot out your future. I remember spending hours looking up ways to become a high school business or economics teacher when I was majorly dissatisfied with my job a few years ago. I know you’ll figure out a good next step.

    • 03/26/2012 10:39

      Sifting around through future rosy-colored job possibilities in the midst of feeling dissatisfied is really a nice form of escapism, isn’t it? (that is, when it isn’t making me feel completely unqualified for everything!)

  2. 03/26/2012 08:41

    A friend of some knowledge of these things said that you tend to get sick right when you are ready to PR. This person might be full of shit, but you are full of snot, so potato po-tah-to, right?

    • 03/26/2012 10:36

      Excellent to hear. Truthfully, I’ve suspected this already because my personal experiences corroborate your friend’s claim. I was sick before my 5K PR and had a lingering cold the week before my marathon PR. Maybe there is some kind of mystical psychosomatic woo woo going on.

  3. 03/28/2012 01:50

    That sounds like a productive day. A good one for me too as I just learnt a new word: wastrel!

  4. 04/21/2012 05:06

    Like a month too late…

    I can really relate to a lot of this. I am a terrible napper and I even go so far as to get cranky with those around me when they would rather nap than entertain me. The nerve of some people! I also agree that TV and movie watching are social activities, not to be done alone. I even have trouble watching movies on airplanes unless Chris is watching the same one and is willing to talk about it the whole way through. I am so high maintenance. It is pathetic.

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