So, today I have a rant. Sadly, I am home with a terrible virus which, I dare say, is not the flu as I received the flu shot. I believe in the flu shot and viruses and bacteria are smarter than us, hands down. However, my self promised weekly blog was calling. That was not the rant. However, I will rehash the new motto of our millennium.
I find that society, usually corporations preach the work-life balance, yet how is it that the number of hours we are actually at work are more than our time off? Technically, we work more than 40 hours a work if you include driving to work, lunch hour and any after work hours one adds. I ring up to 50 plus hours a week and I am still running around trying to sustain my life after work and fitting in leisure time.
I know what hard work is as I’ve gone through college, medical school and residency. My problem is the underlying annoyance that is generated if you are sick. Mind you, I am exposed to an exponentially higher amount of germs and I should have a Hercules type immune system, which I do. However, when I am sick as I am now, it takes me out hard. Yet, work still texts wondering when I will return. I get it. I have a schedule, therefore, all these people need to be rescheduled. However, I would like to think they don’t want a sick doctor to come to work. It exposes them and my patients. So, considering the field I am in, it is weirdly expected of my illness to subside in one day. Many people may have one day of illness. I do not. By the time my mind listens to my body, my body has lost its patience, pins me down and tells my mind who is boss. And many a day, I tell people how long illnesses will run its course, yet our jobs, our employers do not allow for it. I suppose you may think this is whining. I clearly think its an imbalance.
I do not count illnesses as a work life balance. It’s not part of the equation. It’s not the part of life we have to do, enjoy to do or gets a reward but it gets lumped in with life. Additionally, life also carries the burden of our primitive needs being met. Sleeping, eating, exercising are constantly discounted. Life gets shortchanged as it carries sickness on its back and work is clear and still calls us out.
Or is it my guilt? I have been trained to go to work sick and this is, especially, true in residency. And, if you do happen to call the backup resident to take your call, you sure better be on your deathbed. I believe in a respected work ethic, however, not at the expense of my health. Either way, I hope to retrain my mind to listen to my body. I hope our work life balance truly becomes even. The bottom dollar is not worth its sacrifice. Once I get back onto the train, I most likely will fall into the traps again. However, I will respect my body more than work. I will listen to my body’s voice. Work should be a chapter in life and not on the cover with it.
For without our health, we have nothing.