Stricken

On 22 June, I woke up with a very sore throat.

Today is the 18th July and excepting for a brief couple of days in early July I have not been at work since, and nor will I be so for a while.

I have been to all intents and purposes, Stricken!

My illness has hospitalized me most unexpectedly, and it has forced me to submit to its hold over me so that for the first time in many years, I have had to succumb and be ill.

This stricken state has afforded me the opportunity to consider what is important in my life, and although the anticipated cliche is — well its your health stupid, and its your family, my main concern has been around my prolonged absence from work.

I am well read, nowadays on the deathbed eulogies of people who say, I should have worked less and played more, but I have encountered a strange tension within me which says, “William you have responsibilities, at work and at home,” and my fervent wish is to maintain that balance until I retire.

In recent days as the infection has submitted itself to powerful antibiotics and I have overcome feelings of soreness, tiredness, nausea and dizziness, I have started to re-build that work-home balance by slowly accessing emails and conversations and relationships so as to keep a sense of momentum which I can build on when I eventually return.

The easy part of the illness was when I was too ill to do anything, I had no sense of guilt and yet those around me were lavishing me with there love and concern and secret fears that the illness was something more serious and life changing.

I was able to experience that love and connect strongly with how I have taken being well for granted, perhaps this is a wake up call to take more care, to rest more fully when I have the opportunity to do so, and to create a new work ethic in which I am less intense, more open and able to express my limitations than hitherto I was able to do.

William Defoe