with Mir Kamin
I'm a freelance writer and mother of two working from home, which theoretically means I can set my own schedule so as to best accommodate my family. In reality, "flexible hours" often equals "working too much." Yes, I'm my own boss; no, that doesn't mean life is easy. It's hard to leave the office when you live there. But I love what I do and feel very lucky. And not just because I get paid to work in my pajamas.
To learn more about Mir, check out her profile on Work It, Mom! or visit her blog at http://www.wouldashoulda.com/
Over a dozen years ago, I came down with an inner ear infection at work. At the time, I was working at a giant IBM site, and when I was struck with a sudden intense dizziness in the ladies’ bathroom, one of my colleagues called our on-site paramedics. I was terribly embarrassed by the whole thing; they started checking me for things like signs of a stroke, and I was in my early 20s. It turned out to be an inner ear thing, though, which pretty much just disturbs equilibrium and is annoying.
I’d totally forgotten about that until yesterday, when the same thing happened again. Fortunately, now I work at home, alone, with no one to ask me if I can stick out my tongue straight except the dog, and come to think of it, she doesn’t talk no matter how dizzy I get.
I took an anti-nausea med and crawled into bed with my computer. After a while I gave up and took a nap, hopeful that I would wake up feeling better. I didn’t.
Now, obviously it’s better to work at home when something like this happens, because it’s not like I could crawl into bed at an office. But on the other hand—and we’ve talked about this before—freelancers don’t actually get sick days. No work, no pay. Plus, how stupid would I feel trying to explain to a client that I didn’t get that done because I “feel dizzy?” (Hint: Really stupid.) I may as well say I have the vapors, or something.
The worst part of this particular malady is that it feels fake. I mean, I feel legitimately queasy and unsteady, but I don’t have any other symptoms. I don’t feel sick sick, just sort of seasick. But staring at a computer screen doesn’t help.
Anyway, yesterday I managed (though I did miss dog training class, which means my rotten dog may end up flunking doggie school), and today I’ll manage. But tomorrow and Thursday I have meetings and places to be. Which means I need to straighten up and stop listing to starboard, post haste.
Sometimes being a grown-up is really not all it’s cracked up to be. Hmph.
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