Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Sick Day...

Being sick is the worst, not because bring physically ill is an inconveinience but because it prevents me from serving others while I’m here. It was the worst feeling in the world this morning to be told that I had to stay at the house and sleep when all I wanted to do was get down and dirty on the construction sites that I signed up to go to. I felt like I was letting my fellow AFLV and Villanova crews down by being unable to do my part and share in the experience of today. Realistically, this is all just another piece of the puzzle of a service trip. It’s not uncommon that those who participate contract occasional bugs; I was told today by one of the leaders that all of her group on a previous trip were bedridden on the same day with the same flu-like symptoms, which made me feel a little less guilty about sleeping them off today.

When I think about it, that’s all I had the strength to do today. I had two companions who stayed behind with me, making the experience more bearable. I read a book, ate some soup, and slept for about a total of 10 hours. I’ve had more water in the last 24 hours than I’ve had probably in the last month combined and only one caffienated beverage, a true accomplishment for a Diet Coke addict like myself. While this may sound like a walk in the park, for me it was like slowly pulling teeth. I’m the type of girl who has trouble letting myself rest and recuperate- I like to push through illness rather than lie dormant and fully recover. I go to class when I probably should sip on soup and I stay up late finishing my work when I should focus on getting a good night’s sleep. I’m a glutton for punishment, but I realized that that isn’t the best course of action to take. Had I been a trooper and gone to the site today and worked in the hot sun, chances are I would be twice as sick and miserable tomorrow and even less able to help the collective effort of the group. With resting today and taking care of myself, much to my chagrin, I am feeling back up to 95% of my normal self and ready to get back to firing on all cylinders tomorrow.

While I laid in bed today before dinner just waking from sleep, a song by John Legend came on my ipod that struck a chord with me. The lyrics say “We’re just ordinary people; we don’t know which way to go. Cause we’re just ordinary people, maybe we should take it slow.” No matter how many mountains I want to climb, leadership roles I’m elected to or excellent grades I get, it doesn’t change that fact that I’m only human and that every so often I need to slow down before I can run at full speed.

Brittany Barnes is a student at Kent State University and a member of Chi Omega Fraternity.

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