Monday, I stayed home and took Nora to the doctor. She has pink eye. As all working parents know, kids with pink-eye have to be on antibiotic drops for 24 hours before they can go back to daycare. So, Tuesday morning, I sent my boss an email that I would be in around noon. Then I hit a wall. The thought of going in to work made me want to cry. I tried thinking up a way to stay home all day. I wanted to lay in bed and vegetate. Whenever I feel this way, I immediately ask myself what it is I’m trying to avoid — then I force myself to do it. Vegetation leads to depression. Unless you are a vegetable, then it leads to a salad. Or maybe a gratin.
I psyched myself up, “I’ll clean the house so I won’t come home to a pit, then I’ll go to work, get a ton of stuff done, and come home to a clean house. And I’ll make hamburgers for dinner. It’ll be great.” I had Nora help me pick up the Duplos, vacuum and load the dishwasher.
Here’s the part where you expect me to say that something fantastic happened as a result of pushing through my slothful inclination. I had a super productive day and felt great about myself for modeling responsible behavior for my daughter, right? Wrong. My boss made snide comments about me being out with a sick kid and a bunch of people brought me a bunch of new problems. I didn’t clear even one item off my worklist.
Am I sorry I went in? No. If I’d curled up in the fetal position and stayed home, I’d only be inviting melancholy and postponing the inevitable. There would be more snide comments and more backlog to go back to. And therefore more stress and more desire to withdraw.
Good choices don’t always yield happy results, but bad choices never do. That’s the unglamourous truth it took me thirty years to discover. Meh.