I have a habit of planning out my week each Sunday night or Monday morning. This includes mapping out the work I plan on completing each day, despite the invariable failure of these plans, I continue to construct one nearly every week of the year. It serves as a stress-coping mechanism as much as a proverbial roadmap for navigating the upcoming week’s workload. This week my work plan was, by all accounts, ruined early Tuesday morning thanks to a completely unpredictable culprit.
This past Tuesday I woke up with acute conjunctivitis, more colloquially known as pink eye. The infected eye was partly masked by a drooping eyelid that refused to rise any further. The white of my eye had become red and itched like no other ailment I have suffered through. After a trip to the doctor and a positive diagnosis, I was prescribed remedial eye drops and ordered to refrain from touching the infected area. It turns out pink eye is extremely contagious during the first 24 hours of its outbreak, regardless of the treatment; thus, I had to miss the entire workday on Tuesday and my work plan was effectively foiled before the week really even began. I was able to make it back to work on Wednesday and the rest of the week as the infection ran its course.
I have no idea how I contracted conjunctivitis, an affliction most common among children, for the first time two weeks before my 22nd birthday. It has been by far the most absurd occurrence of my fellowship, and my summer at large. A lesson I have taken away from the past week is that my plans, weekly and otherwise, need to include contingency procedures to account for unfortunate turns of events. As cliché as it sounds, life is unpredictable, no one can map out even a single day with great accuracy, it’s imperative to learn to adjust to the unforeseen obstacles life so recklessly throws in our way, and find a way to still achieve our goals.