The long leaf oak boards felt cool against the side of my feverish face.
I was lying on the hallway floor to the bathroom because under the circumstances I needed to be as close to it as possible. It was Easter morning and some eight hours earlier I'd started vomiting. My body would do so for hours still to come even though all the actual food there was already long gone.
It would be Tuesday before I could eat solid food again if oatmeal qualifies as solid. Sunday I couldn't eat anything and Monday was simply water and sport drinks. Good times.
When you're really sick you have a lot of time to think because there isn't anything else you can do. I was digitally de-connected for three days and didn't really reconnect until the following week. Email, phone, LI, Twitter were all abandoned and yet somehow the world went on without me.
Chewy and I didn't run or walk for several days either: she stood by my side wondering when it was time to go again. Even The Hux, normally out the door at the first sign of light, laid on top of me for a while trying to help me recover by sharing his secret cat power. Its amazing the acts of kindness animals are capable of.
A voracious reader I couldn't pick up a book for three days: no music, no movies, no current events-junkifying. I couldn't do anything and was out of my comfort zone.
Lying on a wooden floor in a fetal ball has a way of taking the stuffing out of you
So I lay still and reflected a lot, mostly on the quality of my relationship with others.
Like many functions, HR exists on both a tactical and strategic level. We need to get things completed. Sometimes we're so enamored of getting things done, the to do lists and deadlines we forget who it is we're impacting. Who we're touching.
Strategically, isn't what we do all about building bridges?
How do the people we work with feel about us
A time out is a good opportunity to re-assess that. Granted you don't need to be sick to get a time out. Unplug from the world and settle in on what matters to you. Ask yourself if you're showing up the way you want to.
Human beings have amazing redemptive power. Through all matter of turmoil – illness, family discord, divorce, financial problems, professional setbacks – we're battered around and yet, for the most part, end up standing tall again. Resilient.
And usually, happy.
Why? I have to believe its the quality of the relationships we have with the people we care about. And the truth is the people at work are a big part of that. Maybe not our whole world, but a big portion.
So after reflection if you're not showing uo the way you want? Well, today is a brand new day.
Welcome to it.