Do You Have to Get Sick Before You Slow Down?


A week ago I woke up with a sore throat. Not the kind that is just annoying, but the kind that causes you excruciating pain every time you swallow. The kind that you feel when you have Strep throat. But I didn’t have a fever, and I didn’t think I had Strep, so I kept working.

The next day I had the same sore throat and a low-grade fever. I felt tired, but could still function, so I stayed at my desk and worked. I can’t say that I worked efficiently, but I was in my office.

For the next 5 days, I had a low-grade fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. One night both my husband and I thought we just might be headed to the Emergency Room. It was that incident that convinced me that I needed to actually stay in bed. That I really was sick. That I could no longer act like I was fine.

The illness ran its course and I’m definitely on the upswing now.

I’ve always found it hard to “take it easy,” or to lie down when I feel “less-than.” I have too many things I want to do. Being sick is a waste of time.

This morning, I started to Google, “Why do I have to get sick before I slow down?” It seems I’m not the only person who has asked Google that question, because before I could finish typing my sentence, the subject popped up. Dr. Paula Davis wrote a very informative article on “Do You Have to Get Sick to Slow Down” for Psychology Today. She identified a few patterns of people like me; patterns that totally describe me, with varying degrees.

  • I have to be perfect and do things perfectly.
  • I should be able to manage it all without feeling stressed or tired.
  • I can’t relax until I finish what I have to do.
  • I can handle it all on my own.

I sat and truly contemplated the words in this article. I have been feeling tired today, as I am still recovering from the residual symptoms of my illness. But I’ve been working. However, I was so convicted by this article, that I actually left my office, laid down, and took an hour nap.

Now, back at my desk, I’m trying not to think about that lost hour. It’s going to take me some time to adjust my thinking, but I’m really going to work on this. I know I need to.

In the meantime, I think I’ll go open the Amazon boxes that have come this week. When I was sick, I didn’t care what was in them. Today I do!

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Comments (2)

  1. Kathleen Sakorafos

    I hope you are feeling better now. You need to feel tip-top so you can appreciate that new grandbaby. Looks like you have another outdoor project planned with all those lights, looking forward to seeing the finished project. Perfect timing for the recoloring, I do so struggle with that hopefully after a little more practice I will feel confident to change color instead of wasting hours looking thru my digital supplies for the correct color.

    July 15, 2021 at 10:03 am
    • Karen Schulz

      Hi Kathleen. Yes, I am feeling better, thank you. LOL. Yes, we just had our house painted, so decided on new outdoor lighting fixtures too. It’s one of those this-leads-to-that projects. Oh, please try this tutorial. I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is! Let me know how you do, please!

      July 15, 2021 at 12:15 pm
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