I’ve had this head cold/sinus thing going on for the past week and a half. Nothing terrible or life threatening but enough to make my days uncomfortable to miserable (on a sliding scale). It’s the kind of thing that wouldn’t keep someone from going into work but would slow you down. It doesn’t stop you in your tracks like a flu but they’ll be no spring in your step.

I actually find it pretty easy to go into work with a cold because what choice would I have? People go into work with mild sicknesses all the time because it’s expected of them. Being sick is considered “unproductive” in our “work work work” society unproductive is the ultimate corporate sin. So it ends up that it’s the self motivated stuff that suffers with my decline.

Being an artist and working on an endless amount of projects that bring no immediate financial gain means that self motivation is a big factor. Let’s face it most people don’t do things unless they are getting paid for it. Getting paid is an excellent motivational factor. It might only be beaten out by love, lust, or loyalty but then again for many people money comes in number one.

So I finished up some paying work I was doing earlier in the week. Cold or no cold if I didn’t do it I wouldn’t get paid for it (there’s that money motivation for you). I took it easy and paced myself. When not sick I have a tendency to work long hours on the paying stuff to get it done as soon as possible. That way I can make time for my own self motivated un-paying work. But this week I did a little at a time and rested a lot. I was feeling better and getting stronger with each day of the week. And then Friday came.

I had the day ahead of me and was caught up on my paying jobs. I wanted to do some work on some prints I’ve been making and was looking forward to it. But man I couldn’t wake up. I got out of bed and got ready for my day but wow my head was cloudy. Even with some more of the medicine that had helped me earlier in the week I lacked clarity. If I had been going into a job that day I would have. What choice would I have had? But a cold completely kills self motivation. There’s no energy for it. So I had to just sit around doing nothing.

Some people are good at sitting around and doing nothing. I’m not one of them. I like to do something. I’m not the kind who needs someone or something to entertain me. I also don’t need to be going somewhere to be doing something. I’m much more interested in being interested than in being entertained. I like to spend my time painting, drawing, or doing something generally creative. I like to make things. So when I have to sit around and do nothing I get antsy. So Friday I alternately took naps and got antsy. Antsy isn’t good. It burns up what little energy I have.

When I’m working I usually have the TV on or some music playing. But when I’m doing nothing I can’t concentrate on movies or music. In between my naps I kept trying to find something to watch, since I had no energy, but nothing could hold my interest. Those are days that make life seem empty. Nothing to do no where to go and no energy for anything anyway. Being sick just sucks.

I think that is why I never liked medical dramas. Whether in print or in the moving pictures I’ve always failed to see any drama in sickness. In my book illness just sucks. Period. I find nothing dramatic about sickness at all. I especially hate when a TV show throws in a character with a terminal illness (Battlestar Galactica I’m talking to you) and you just know that later on in the season they are going to find some magic cure for the illness. And they do.

Sure the excitement for these stories is in the cure but I fail to find any entertainment value because the misery of the sickness distracts me too much. Usually these shows give you the “drama” of the sickness and then the excitement of the cure. I just see fifty minutes of misery and then ten minutes of inevitable pre-programed happiness. The fifty minutes of misery just remind me how cruel and empty life can be when you’re sick. People who like medical dramas must like the sense of hope at the end of them. That’s not enough for me to sit through all the misery.

So I made it through my sad little minor sickness and day of getting nothing done. I’m glad it doesn’t happen often but I gotta get better at doing nothing.