Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired

Having nearly reached the conclusion of another trimester, with only Saturday's three review-based classes between myself and our exam period, and having concluded a period of some two weeks of coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath with this afternoon's diagnosis of walking pneumonia, which malady's resulting in a course of prednisone has left me with a raging case of insomnia, exacerbated by two perhaps ill-advised large cups of coffee with dinner, and improved not at all by my consuming a significant chunk of Joseph Ellis's excellent history of the American republic's early days, Founding Brothers (whose frequent quotations of primary sources have had what should by now be an obvious effect on the style in which this subfequent poft has thus far been compofed), I find myself musing upon this realization: an inordinate number of the posts I make in this journal seem to concern being sick and/or tired.

I suppose this is partially due to the fact that I use this forum for venting, and during the school year at Woodberry Forest School, the main subject for venting is almost inevitably fatigue.  This is an exhausting career in many regards.  Eight-hour days do not exist; if you're lucky you might occasionally manage a four-hour one, but the duty roster guarantees you'll get a sixteen-hour one at least once a week.  Perhaps as a result, I tend to post here only when there's a break in the action, during which time it's only natural to look back over said action and realize just how much effort was expended (and maybe work in a smidgeon of dread about the effort that will be required in the action yet to come.)

The other time I tend to post here is on those occasions when I'm sick enough that a break in the action is imposed upon me.  Again, it's natural at such times to kvetch: this hurts, that's not working properly, these feel weird, you wouldn't believe what discharge x from orifice y resembles, etc.  Reaching the middle of my forties probably isn't helping matters much (though I should note that my physician, Dr. Michael Silvester, is unfailingly upbeat about my general health whenever I visit him.)  My own tendency to soldier grimly on through the early stages of most illnesses is likely a contributor as well; as Kelly noted (earning a respectful high-five from me for her keen perception), this bout of pneumonia probably started about two weeks ago, and I haven't missed a moment of work.  By the time I finally acknowledge that I'm sick, it has become (by definition) something I can't ignore, and what I can't ignore I tend to write about.

But still, what kind of fun is it to read the work of a writer who spends so much of his writing time whining about everything that's keeping him from writing?  If I had more time, wouldn't that fact be a threat that I could be writing even more about how sick and tired I am?


So: In the coming months I'll be trying hard to focus on other stuff:  The coolness of the lunar eclipse the other night.  The delightful prospect of UNC's basketball team surging toward the end of the ACC season.  The anticipation of the day when the final volume of the collected Y: The Last Man will go on sale.  Ian's upcoming induction into the National Honor Society.  Dixon's 4.0 GPA during his first semester of high school.  Kelly's admirable success in getting to the gym regularly (and not minding that I haven't felt like going in several weeks.)  The idea for a detective novel that's been tickling my brain on and off over the past month or so.  The possibility that I might at last be moving to teaching English full-time, rather than spending half my days teaching speech.  The next phase of my attempt to visit (and bird in) every state in the union.

In short, I hope to heed the advice of Anthony Kiedis in the Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Fight Like a Brave": 

If you're sick-a-sick'n'tired
of being sick and tired
if you're sick of all the bullshit
and you're sick of all the lies
it's better late than never
to set-a-set it straight

Or, as the great statesman Michael Palin stated so eloquently at the commencement of Monty Python's Matching Tie and Handkerchief album, "I think all right-thinking people in this country are sick and tired of being told that ordinary, decent people are fed up in this country with being sick and tired.  I'm certainly not.  And I'm sick and tired of being told that I am."

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This page contains a single entry by Peter Cashwell published on February 23, 2008 12:14 AM.

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