Lying in bed in a germ-i-fied state, I'm stunned.
I rarely get sick. I've never had a flu shot and I don't use hand gel. I wash my hands with soap, keep them off my face and drink plenty of water. Done. Good to go. How did this happen?
Me: I need to cancel our appointment, Bob. I have a cold. I don’t want to spread it around.
Bob: Ah, don’t do that. I never get sick unless I need to.
I heard him say it enough times over the years that I would do it for him. I know, Bob, you don't get sick unless you need to. He'd chuckle and answer in his Kansas accent, "Well, that's right."
On the surface it sounds amusing but a deeper dive can be revealing.
So today I ask myself, why did I need to be sick this week?
- Do I need a break?
- Did I not ask for what I want?
- Were there warning signs I ignored that I was becoming tired, or overwhelmed?
- Do I need something that has nothing to do with tired? If so, what?
- Is sick part of a pattern, used in place of making crisp requests and setting clear boundaries?
- Are there any relevant and important answers to the above? If so, what’s my plan for being more overt, less covert, and omitting sick as an answer to meeting needs.