Here in PA, we have been having some really bad weather over the past week – two blizzards within 5 days. That is a lot of snow! The snow itself was bad enough but add to that the wind and the size of the snowdrifts have been unbelievable! I was supposed to work last Saturday morning from 7 a.m. – 11 a.m. and my husband told me the night before I wouldn’t be able to get out of the driveway in the morning and he was right. I got up at 5 a.m. to look outside and there were 4 ft. snowdrifts around our house – I couldn’t even get the door open to get outside if I wanted to.
Because I have to give my job a 2-hour notice if I can’t make it in for a shift, I went ahead and called in and told the night manager, who is on duty until 6:30 a.m. daily, that I wouldn’t be able to get in to work my shift because we were snowed in. He acted as though he didn’t believe me and he was rather rude to me about the whole thing. When I went into work Sunday evening, I found out that the managers were telling people that if they really wanted to get to work, they would have found a way. I’m sorry, but I am not risking my health, which is already bad enough, to go out and shovel through 4 ft. snowdrifts so that I can earn a couple of dollars. It is not worth it to me. I will also not put my husband’s health at risk in order to get into work. Someone who has had 7 heart attacks and open heart surgery does not need to be out in weather conditions like that just so I can go and take crap off of people for a few hours. NO WAY – NO HOW – I REFUSE TO DO IT!
I surprise myself sometimes now when I find myself saying and thinking things like this because at one time, I would have done whatever it took to get into work, even if it meant risking my health shoveling through large amounts of snow or driving on snow and ice-covered roads. I think so differently now and I often think that if I would have had this attitude 20 years ago, I wouldn’t have ruined my health and CFS might not have ever been part of my life.
I am glad I finally wisened up, got a grip, and was able to put things in perspective and can now realize what is important and what isn’t. Life is so much easier when you don’t worry about pleasing everyone or worry about what everyone else thinks of you. Even as sick as I am now, I still enjoy life much more than I did when I was a workaholic. Back then, I basically lived to make everyone happy, including my boss, and I was miserable. I felt like I had to be all things to everyone and the real me was lost. I felt as though everything was my responsibility no matter what it was and I could find a way to justify to myself that everything was my responsibility.
If I could go back in time and change things, I definitely would do a lot differently. Wouldn’t we all? I would not have ruined my health for people and things because guess what? Those people are no longer in my life that I worked so hard to please and the things I worked for are no longer mine either. What I have to show for all of that hard work, stress, strain, and thousands upon thousands of hours of work is a sick, diseased body that can never be anything close to what it once was.
My son has also helped me put life into perspective and he has been the most precious, glorious blessing to me. When I look at him, I want to do better – I want to be better. I want to be healthy and well because he deserves a mom like that. But we can’t go back and change what we’ve done. The only thing we can do is learn from our mistakes, move forward, and help other people to not do the same thing to themselves. That is what I hope someone gets from reading this.