I did not want to go to work today. I’m sure you are familiar with the sensation. I mean, that guy wrote a poem about it and everything. I’m convinced that there are maybe five people on the planet who want to go to work every day and the rest of us sometimes just wake up in the morning and think, “Nope. Don’t want to do it.”
Which isn’t to say that we have that thought and then immediately follow through. There’s a trajectory, and it can go in a number of different directions. In my own case, there are several levels to travel through several stages before reaching a conclusion.
Stage one: General health.
Am I unwell? Aside from the persistent skin thing that doesn’t keep me from working, I’m generally rarely unwell. I (knock on wood) haven’t had the flu in ages, I don’t run fevers, my colds rarely progress to the point where I need to take a day off of work. Usually after this general health check, I must continue on to other avenues.
Stage two: What do I have to do today?
Is there a reason I absolutely MUST be at work today? Sometimes there is a staff meeting, sometimes someone is coming in and I have to meet with them. Sometimes there too much work to do that day. But if not, I spiral over to the next phase.
Stage three: Will my not being there adversely affect anyone today?
I work in a small nonprofit, and we know when someone is absent, especially the three of us who can’t call substitutes. If I don’t go to work, one of my coworkers will have to take my 45 minutes of recess duty and the other coworker will have to triage all the various “school office” things that happen during the day. Mostly I don’t get past this stage, but if I do…
Stage four: Will my staying home leave me feeling guilty and thus ruin the exquisite pleasure of not working on a work day?
Sometimes I can work through my stages, call in sick and not mind much that I’ve thrown a wrench in my colleagues’ day and am neglecting my work. But mostly when I do it, I can picture how their days are going and how mine will go when I return the next day and it spoils the freedom of the day at hand.
I went to work today. I knew why I didn’t want to go and it had more to do with the book I consumed the night before and the lack of sleep resulting from this consumption. It was an okay day, plus it was a short day anyway. I’ve noticed I take many fewer sick days since I reduced my hours from 40 to 32. There is something about working 7:30-1:30 that is much easier to bite off than 8-4:30.
I suspect I won’t want to go to work tomorrow, either. I know this has more to do with the un-done things at home than it does with work. So I will do my best to crawl into bed at a normal time, work through my day in a diligent fashion, and come home and plunge into chores to regain my footing.