Many people see themselves as either victims or champions of productivity culture, but regardless of perspective, 24-year-old Leah Jones has taken the need to relentlessly churn out work to the next level. That’s right – Leah can only relax when she’s sick.
“I’m doing a part-time masters program, I work as a server, babysit when I can, and I do social media for my friend’s jewelry business for free,” says Leah. “So I’m pretty busy, but when my body actually shuts down from illness, I do really soak in that time of relaxation.”
While the compulsory work of sustaining her survival keeps Leah fairly occupied, when she isn’t infirm, she manages to fill every last moment with some kind of work.
“I hardly have free time, so I have to optimize it when I do,” Leah says. “The other day I finished a brunch shift 40 minutes before class started, and I was like, should I call my mom? Should I call my representatives? Should I start Mandarin on Duolingo? But then I remembered that actually I hadn’t eaten that day, so I just did that.”
“But that all changes when I’m sick,” Leah adds. “I drink Gatorade, I eat Cup Noodles and don’t feel bad about it. If I’m not actively throwing up I might even watch a movie.”
We’re not sure what the meaning of this life is, but we’re pretty sure Leah is winning at it!
However, only relaxing when you’re sick isn’t always as easy as it sounds.
“I have to be the right level of sick,” Leah says. “If I’m just a little sick, I’ll try to still get stuff done, or stress out about the fact that being sick is making me fall behind. That’s why to really relax, I have to be sick enough that the only thing my brain can focus on is getting through the illness.”
“But!” Leah adds, “I can’t be so sick that I think I’m going to die, because that isn’t very relaxing, and also I can’t afford the medical bills.”
It’s a fine line, but you walk it with grace, Leah!
“I wish there could be some other time when I don’t feel like I need to be doing anything but relaxing and experiencing some peace while alive on this earth,” Leah says. “But that’s just not reality, so, here’s hoping I get a 48-hour virus soon!”