Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Taking some sick days

I think maybe I have the flu. I thought it was a cold, but I ache plenty too. Anyway it's keeping me from working on much of anything. I've been sleeping in and then not doing much concentrating all day--on the novel or anything else I'm responsible for.

I'm giving myself permission to take the time off without worrying about it. That's a . . . I was going to say "luxury" that I didn't have in my previous job. But the fact that we think of sick days as luxuries is part of what is wrong with the modern world. They're necessities, and like many people I didn't use to do what was necessary when I was sick. I worked through it usually and when I did take a day I spent most of the day in bed on my cellphone trying to manage the work that I couldn't be present for.

For me, working on a novel involves a different orientation toward the world, this saner attitude on sick days being one example. Working on a novel is touching my life in more than just the intellectual work I do. I think differently about relationships, health, community, diet, consumption, financial needs . . . the whole arrangement has changed my view on what I really need. (Basically, a lot less.)

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