Yesterday morning a man came into my virtually underground office, looked around and said, "I will never growl about my office again. You have no windows!". That made me feel good...not! After spending my lunchtime with ambulance people, I went to facilitate an awkward meeting. They all went out the door happy, but I was frustrated because I felt that two of the participants did not buy into the process and that they would undermine the decisions made. I had put heaps of work into trying to help these people over the last couple of months, and I left thinking "What an absolute waste of time! They do not want to change their immature ways." I had to rush home to change then I was going to visit fire stations. At about 3:30 I had not had much lunch so stopped at a store, bought a roll and went to drive away. The car (Wicked Wanda... the love of my life!) seemed to stall then would not start again. I lifted the bonnet, checked obvious things... texted my wife, ate my roll, looked again at possible wiring problems, sat and fumed. Here I was feeling very tired and physically run down from all my long days building. I had a mouthful of ulcers that won't go away that were hurting. I had a headache. It was a hot windy day with heaps of traffic noise on the road I was stuck on. I still had fire stations to visit and a kids thing to attend at night. My tools were in the van or at the building site so I could not really explore the motor properly, but my hands were dirty from what I had done. I was stuck in this hot broken down car waiting for a mechanic to come and tow me to his garage. I was not a happy chappy!
At the meeting I had heard of a guy going home sick because he had a tooth ache. As I sat there I thought, "I have the equivalent of a toothache! That's it! I am going home sick! Other people do it!" So after the car was towed, I got Jean to drop me home, I climbed under the blankets and slept for an hour and a half and stayed home at night. (I did do reading for next week's sermon to ease my guilt) I hear of lots of people taking sick days. My firemen do regularly. If they happen to get sick while on their holidays, they get extra days off when they return to work! I bumped into a fellow chaplain one day and she said she was taking a "mental health day", it was all too much for her so a sick day was in order and she was off to do some "retail therapy". I have hardly ever taken sick days! When is it OK to call in sick? How sick do you have to be? Anyway today I am feeling better, well at least better than "Wanda" who is still not going, at the garage probably costing me money.