Myth of a Sick Day

sick day

Have you ever had a sick day?  I don’t know if I have.  Yes, I’ve certainly been sick and yes, I’ve taken sick days off of work but they aren’t really days off, and I don’t even have kids.

Yesterday was a good example.  I woke up with a stomach ache and spent the morning emptying my stomach.  I had emailed my boss to let him know I would be out for the day.  I answered a few emails and then crashed for about 3 hours.  I have never taken naps even when I was little (my poor Mom).  Pretty much when I take a nap I know I am either sick or on a mission (only time in my life I took naps).

When I woke up I realized I had a notice on my email that estimated tax payments were due that day.  I called my accountant but was having trouble reaching them.  They had told me previously that they weren’t due until July which didn’t seem right but I was so busy with a new job that I shrugged it off.


Finally I was able to reach the secretary for the accountants and the two of us were able to go through all the figures and thankfully I could make the state and federal payments online.  (The accountants got a piece of my mind don’t you worry!).

This took hours to figure out and the whole time I really just wanted to sleep.  I hadn’t eaten anything all day but finally at about 8 pm I stomached some crackers and ginger ale.  After watching 24 I fell asleep.

I wish I could have taken an entire day off to recover but it nearly always works out this way.  I know I am not alone in this.  In fact, I have it easier than you Mom and Dad’s who really never get a day off to recover.  I guess it’s just being an adult.

I’ve always said the only time I miss my Mom is when I am sick. I’m a pretty independent person but to be taken care of like only a mother can is perhaps the best part of childhood.  My roommate was kind to bring me some crackers but just nothing beats the sympathy and care of a mother for her daughter (even at 33 years old!).

At least with my new job hopefully the work distractions will be fewer.  The downside to accounting is there are deadlines that don’t go away if someone is sick.  Today 5 checks had to be written and it didn’t matter if I was recovering.  The mail had to be gotten and a wire had to be written.  This could not wait.

There are definitely deadlines with marketing but it seems to be a slower pace and be a little more flexible than accounting. I could be wrong but that’s just the vibe I’ve gotten so far.

I know some people have 9 to 5 jobs so when they are home they aren’t at work whether it is the end of the day or a sick day but I think a growing number of us telecommute which means there is no end to the work day, sick or not.

My favorite thing about my job is that I can telecommute.  I am by  no means complaining just talking about my life.

I guess what can be difficult is making sure you get better while still doing all the stuff that still has to be done.  What strategies have you found to be helpful? How do you guys balance work and other demands?  I’d be particularly interested in hearing from other telecommuters.

At least this was just a 24 hour bug and while I was a little tired today it wasn’t too bad.  What was really rough was this last Christmas when I was sick as a dog and had to work the entire time.  I’m sure that is why the illness stretched on for over 9 weeks.  It was brutal.

If only sick days were like this:


10 thoughts on “Myth of a Sick Day

  1. Faking out parents? Not likely. In my family, parents are the old-school, Cheech & Chong “Earache, my eye!” variety. My brother-in-law and his young son moved in with us while my sister stayed behind in another state, to sell their house. I arose one morning to find a note from B-I-L, who had already gone to work: “Teddy is SICK! He must STAY in BED!” I looked into the den, where my nephew lay groaning in the sofa bed he shared with his father. Then I sent my kids off to school. As soon as the bus had picked them up, Teddy leapt out of bed, energized and ready to start his day – and then I showed him his dad’s note. Crestfallen, he crept back under the covers. No TV. No video games. Shades restfully drawn. Chicken soup for lunch. He didn’t try that again.

    1. Ha! That’s funny. I don’t think Ferris parents would have really been tricked so easily but it’s a funny clip.
      There is nothing like being sick and being taken care of by a mother. It may be what I miss most about being a kid. That chicken soup is good for the soul. 🙂

    2. My parents were total pushovers when it came to sick days. I guess they were homeschoolers in the making. 😉
      And my Mother is the most nurturing person I know. The ideal nurse when you are sick. I guess that is why I feel a certain nostalgia for getting cared for by her. Sick days have never been the same. 🙂

  2. Hmm…I was just as mean, in that respect, after I started homeschooling. Plus, by that time, I had become an RN, so everybody knew that I’d be whipping out the stethoscope as well as the thermometer (apical pulse, lung sounds and bowel sounds don’t lie). My sister and her husband even sent their son to me to be homeschooled, during the first year I did it, until it was time for me to move away, and then they took over homeschooling him.

    1. Ha. Tough cookie you are. My Mom was a pushover but I don’t think we really faked it much. Why would kids fake sick for homeschool? If I ever was tempted to fake it was to avoid a particular teacher. That wouldn’t work with homeschool. 😉 I never homeschooled because my parents didn’t learn about it until I had graduated but I love it when it is done right.
      It’s just if we were a little sick she’d say stay home where others might insist their kids go to school. My parents always felt we could learn just as much at home as at school so it didn’t really bother them if we took a mental health day or were just not feeling great. I guess that’s why we didn’t fake it. We really didn’t have to.
      Anyway, I just think the Ferris Bueller clip is funny. I’m sure his antics wouldn’t work on most parents. The main point of my post was just the idea of a complete sick day is basically impossible as an adult. Whether it is kids or work or whatever real life comes creeping in. I suppose I have a bit of nostalgia for the true sick days as a kid getting cared for by my mother. That’s all.

      1. Unfortunately, there are some folks who have reached the age of majority (I hesitate to dignify them with the label, “adults”) who pull those stunts. My son has had to deal with a lot of that sort where he works, who think they’re entitled to play the system, and are angry if they don’t get away with it.

        1. That is lame and very juvenile. My experience is hardly anyone I know actually gets a true sick day, let alone a fake sick day. We work regardless of sickness, vacation, whatever it might be. Not complaining just a reality of modern work life. The concept of a complete sick day to recover is more myth than reality. Just threw in some humor into the post because it made me smile when I wasn’t feeling great

        2. If you haven’t seen it Ferris Bueller’s Day Off it is a very funny movie. The ultimate free day fantasy. It is written well and good performances. I enjoy it.

  3. I guess the Ferris Bueller clip also shows the ultimate fantasy for a kid or adult. Getting the whole day to be lazy without actually being sick. That’s the dream. 😉

  4. I am also working from home and the best thing that I love about it is that I am in control of my schedule so if I’m sick I’ll absolutely do nothing but rest. Fortunately I’ve never been sick and then found out I have something important to do like you that’s why I can’t really relate with you in that aspect. I can say though that when I had an office job a few years back i would use being sick as an excuse when I have to skip work for the day to attend to other things in life I don’t do it a lot though just in really desperate times. I try not to get sick as much as possible because although I can be off from work I absolutely hate the feeling of it, I’d rather be working for 24 hours straight than be sick for even just an hour.

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