I am relieved to report that I am almost back to normal, after being sick for a full week. I haven’t been that sick in over eight years! In recent years, I’d been guilty of taking my health for granted – you know how when you’re well, you sort of forget what it’s like to be sick? Well, I do, since I’m not sick that often. Let me tell you, I will definitely be more conscious of my good health from now on.
But something else happened while I was sick, something I hadn’t expected. Included in all of the wonderful get-well wishes I received from my friends and family (thank you, everyone!) was a little advice in Carrie’s comment: “. . . in the meantime, try to enjoy the down time!” It’s not something I’ve ever thought of doing while sick; it just either didn’t occur to me or wasn’t an option in the past, when the boys were younger. And granted, I still had to drag myself out of bed this week to get them off to school, pick them up, and make their dinner. But aside from that, I actually took it easy. It’s sad how I have to get really sick before I force myself to slow down – because by then it’s not a choice. And so, I found myself with a little down time. I felt pretty lousy during it, but at one point I just sat on the couch, wrapped in my soft, warm robe with a down blanket over that. I drank a cup of tea. And I did nothing else. I just sat there. What an experience!
I just sat there and tried not to think about much of anything, like some of my sporadic attempts at meditating (which I haven’t done for a very long time). Thoughts would come, I would acknowledge them, and let them go. Thoughts of Nigel’s future, of my own, and how intertwined they will be. But the great part was that I didn’t attach any emotions to the thoughts, which was very different for me. Usually all of my thoughts have emotions attached to them. I can easily get emotional about things that have never even happened, just by thinking about the possibility of them. But somehow the illness gave me a sense of distance – a bit of a novelty, I must say.
So I rested. I read. I drank a lot of herbal tea. I forced myself to stay away from the computer. For the first time ever, I read the current National Geographic issue before the new one arrived (barely – the new one arrived today and it looks amazing). I noticed that National Geographic does not use a hyphen in “email,” so now I feel justified in not doing so. Who knows if I would have noticed that had I not been sick? All these hidden benefits – down time, thoughts without emotion, proofreading insight. I’ve been missing out.
But now it’s back to the grind – and Christmas a week away, no less. Fortunately, because I had pushed myself prior to getting sick, I have nearly all of my shopping done. And although I’m not completely 100%, I feel calmer than I did a week ago. I feel sane. I feel like I’m ready for the busyness of having holiday guests, cooking and baking, and getting the boys ready to go to LA to visit their dad. A lot to do, but I am rested and ready. I didn’t see it coming (getting sick) and thought I would totally fall behind, but it turned out all right after all, as things often do when you don’t fight what is. Sometimes, you get the rest you need, and you might even learn something while you’re at it.