So apparently I spoke too soon when I diagnosed my malady as the flu. Around the fourth day of a throat that felt like it was perpetually being struck by lightening and a low-grade fever that kept me alternately sweating and swaddling up in every available blanket, I decided to go to the doctor.
This was a big decision for me. Mostly because I'm cheap and doctor's cost money (as does medicine.) Husband also didn't understand, because he grew up in the wilds of Africa and thus never went to the doctor as a child. He's a huge fan of "pushing through." (Okay, so he didn't grow up in the wilds wilds. He grew up in a city. But he did grow up in Africa. And he didn't ever go to the doctor).
But when I woke up with about forty tiny broken blood vessels on my eyelids (hey! built in eyeshadow!) I decided I was going. The doctor was nice and friendly, but she was very perplexed.
Nice Doctor lady: "I don't think it's strep. And it's probably not mono." [sidenote: at this point my heart did a little one-two step and I begged God to please, for his sake, not strike me down with mono.] "I think you're just very run-down."
Run-down? My body was tired so it decided to commit germicide Hara-Kiri? Exhaustion, fever, congestion, cough and other unspeakable things just decided to stop by because my schedule was a little too full?
This struck me as funny because, in relation to several other periods of my life, right now is one of the less busy ones. I'm not working on my feet 60 hours a week like I was last spring (never, again) or living thousands of miles from my homecountry while trying to balance a 45 hour a week job in a foreign work environment (don't forget to throw the writing in there too). Compared to those my life right now seems dreamy. I still work, but I have so many more free hours to sit down and do what I love (write novels) and get paid for it!
I shared these thoughts with my husband, who had this nugget of wisdom to share, "Yes, well, you have a little more stress in your writing life now. Maybe that's contributing."
At first I scoffed, but then I thought about it. It's true. Once you sign your publishing contract, the act of writing changes and shifts. It's still something I love, but now I feel like the level of expectancy is higher. Even (and maybe especially) for the manuscripts that haven't found a publishing home yet. There's a certain stress that comes with being officially official as a writer. I hardly mean to sound ungrateful. Believe me, I couldn't be more grateful! But that doesn't make anything I said untrue.
So, I'm going to listen to my body and try to push off the stress, both mental and physical. Hopefully my health and my writing will be better for it.