I've just figured out the one thing that is better about working than being retired (besides the money that hits your checking account twice a month). It is so much better to be sick when you are working than when you are retired. For one thing, if you are so sick that you cannot extract yourself from the bed, you at least have the silver lining that you don't have to go to work that day. You actually have an excuse to lie around all day watching TV and taking naps without having to feel guilty about it.
If you are past the debilitated stage of your sickness, you go to work. Because you are at work, you don't actually think about how crappy you feel because you have a bunch of stuff you have to get done and most of your attention is focused on getting it done. The rest of your attention is focused on getting it done fast so you can go home early and get a little extra rest before you wake up and do it all over again the next day.
At about the instant I retired (well actually about four hours later as I left the restaurant where we celebrated my first hours of freedom), I was hit with a nasty cold. I battled that thing off and on for about three weeks. Then after about one healthy week, I got hit again! The problem with being sick when you are retired is there are so many other things you would rather be doing that you could actually be doing if you weren't sick. Totally unlike when you work and you can't be doing those things anyway, so it hardly matters that you are sick.
Go play tennis or go for a run? Impossible, you can't breathe, there's no way you can run around like that. Maybe go out to eat or go to a movie? Of course not, all the other moviegoers would be annoyed by your persistent hacking cough, and no fellow diner wants to hear you blowing your nose while they eat. That might be the one thing that is worse than a screaming baby. There is only one category of person that you can hack and blow around with reckless abandon, and that is the co-worker.
Retired, you sit home, wishing you had enough energy to clean out your closets, set up your home office, or get out for a little gardening. But you don't, you have unlimited unstructured time to sit around wishing you weren't sick so you could be out doing something else.
The best part about being at work when you are sick though, is someone always says "bless you" when you sneeze and will sometimes ask you if they can get you a cup of tea when they hear you fall victim to a coughing fit or blowing spell. At home, my husband tells me, "You're disgusting me." I can't get too indignant about this, however, because that's the same thing I told him last week when he was sick. All I could do was give him the same reply he gave me back then, "I know, I'm disgusting myself too."
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