Getting Sick Can Be A Blessing In DisguiseJeannette Kaplun
Many blessings come in disguise, perhaps even covered up in fever, aches, chills and coughs. Even though the day has 24 hours, I seem to live pretending time constraints don’t apply to me. I know better, but I have to admit that I act as if I can defy reality and do as much as I can and take advantage of every blessed opportunity that knocks on my door.
You see, I constantly feel that if I don’t make the most out of every single second, that life will pass me by, that nothing this good will ever come my way again. That if I don’t leverage the momentum, everybody else will realize I’m an impostor pretending to know what I am doing. I know I am not the only one who suffers from this; even The Bloggess has posted about it (more brilliantly than I ever could) and I keep meeting people who feel the same. They feel relieved when they see they aren’t the only ones. So many of us seem to think we need to take advantage of every single opportunity before everybody finds out we aren’t special or talented or even deserving of our success. After I spoke at Blissdom about this syndrome, many women came up to me, and one even cried because she never felt worthy enough.
This feeling comes with a high price. In many ways, I’ve gotten used to it and just accepted that it is part of my personality. I don’t question it anymore. I simply deal with it. But lately, it seems dealing with it has meant spreading myself a bit too thin. It doesn’t matter that I’ve gotten used to being tired or sleeping much less than I should or making crazy efforts to be a present mom while working full time. Behind all the Instagram smiles, trips to cool places and constant multitasking, the reality is that there is only so much you can do before something happens that makes you stop and reflect. Even if I like to pretend otherwise, I am only human.
The truth is, I have no supernatural powers. So after a whirlwind week that took me to 2 national TV shows (The Chew and Despierta América), the UN, the LATISM conference, and the Social Good Summit, I collapsed. Literally. My body gave out once the adrenaline wore down. Right after my live segment last Monday, where this photo with actor Jaime Camil was taken, I came down with a fever, cold and non-stop coughing.
My body didn’t care I needed to watch and drive my kids. It didn’t care about what was for dinner, homework, deadlines, conference calls or Facebook engagement levels. All my body wanted was to rest and recover. And so I did.
For the first time in ages I focused on getting better. Not on what I have to do, pending deliverables or my crazy schedule. I rested. I slept. I ate. Tissues, hot tea, honey, ibuprofen and the Hispanic cure-it-all Vicks Vaporub (also known as “vivaporú”) turned into my best friends.
Of course I realize I need to do a better job of taking care of myself. Because even if at some point everybody notices that I have no idea what I am really doing, I need to live with myself and be here for my children. It is totally obvious but sometimes it takes a cold and bronchitis to stop fooling yourself. And that is truly a blessing in disguise.
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