If you’re following my social media or working with me directly, you know that I’ve had and am now off work due to a nasty case of laryngitis. I don’t like to miss learning moments, and life is full of them, so buckle up!
I got sick with some kind of a throat/cold/upper respiratory thing at Thanksgiving. I refused to let illness change my holiday plans – so I hopped into my doctors for some medicine and guidance. I took the antibiotics and ignored the “rest and get plenty of sleep” directions.
The holidays are my busy time of year, not just personally, but professionally. My website renews, it’s tax season (gotta gather those receipts up), it’s time to renew my NCC board certification, and because many people struggle with family for various reasons around that time of year, I make it my mission to be as available as possible should anyone need a sesh.
So, yeah. I did not rest appropriately. I worked, I traveled to see my beautiful family. I talked, gabbed, ate an entire pie. Whatever.
In the winter in North Texas, it’s cotton harvest time. My body doesn’t like it. My eyes water, my throat burns, my sinuses drain (it’s very attractive LOL). My allergies fired up on top of the infection I was still recovering from. Did I go back to the doctor? I did not. Did I take a day or so to rest? I also did not do that.
Then, I started noticing my voice was going in and out. I attributed it to my seasonal allergies and kept going, full steam ahead. I just made sure to drink some Throat Coat Tea (which is great, by the way, but when you’re sick, see a doctor, people).
I missed Christmas because I had a fever, and we just chose to stay home and not risk giving any family members my ick. Then, before I knew it, it was new year’s. I’m eating Ricola cough drops, drinking hot teas, and still not much better.
This past week – I was ordered to stop talking. I have so many lovely Buddhist and mindful psychology friends who regularly practice week (or longer) long silence. They’ve ooohed and aaahed to me over the years about how much one gets from this chosen silence, but I never did take the plunge myself – that would require a rearranging of my work schedule and a lot of other things.
I didn’t choose the silence this week, it chose me. Continuing to talk was risking permanent damage to my voice, and so I went mostly silent. It sounds awful and it hurts a bit when I talk, which has meant that my choice of words has been…..more thoughtful, more mindful. Because I don’t have a lot of vocal juice, I have to think of creative ways to say what I want with less effort, and more than once I’ve found myself thinking, “But it isn’t even necessary to say that thing right now!”
The takeaways, are gold. I need to be more choosy with my words and voice. That’s good advice for most of us. I also need to go to the doctor and take time away when I’m sick at the beginning so it doesn’t turn into an entire week or more toward the end of a bad spell. I deserve care too. So do you!