Since the weekend before Thanksgiving, I have been battling a virus of some sort which yesterday turned into an infection. One of the hazards of working in an elementary school, I suppose. In those twenty days, I missed most of Thanksgiving, teaching four yoga classes, practicing yoga, five days of work, two holiday parties, Christmas traditions like sending cards and baking, and spending precious time with my husband, boys (two of whom became sick, as well) and friends.
When someone I know gets sick, my classic response, whether stated or not, is, “Someone is telling you you need to slow down.” Yeah, I get all pedantic with my bad self. Funny to hear your own words when your head feels like it’s going to explode. Clearly someone really wanted me to slow down. As I always do, however, I am trying to find the good, and have had plenty of time to reflect.
I’ve thought about my mom, who, nine years ago, this very day, was in a hospital fighting for her life (she lost less than a week before Christmas) and I was fighting through losing her and getting through the holiday season. I always think of that terrible time when the Christmas carols start playing, mind you, but who doesn’t want their mom when they feel lousy?
I’ve also been thinking about how blessed I am to have people who care, who help and wish me well, to have medical care, and a cozy, clean bed, and books, and movies, and tissues. My Lord, the tissues. And hot toddies. Mostly, though, I’m grateful because I know I’ll get better. A sinus infection isn’t terminal, even though when you’re in it, it feels like you will never feel better. I will eventually get out of bed, get outside, and resume my crazy life. Some people aren’t so lucky.
It’s funny how things do get pared down when you’re sick. You do only what’s essential. Sleep. Eat. Care for yourself. When simply being able to get a shower and put on clean clothes is a small feat; something you do every day, but, when you’re sick, is a luxury that leaves you feeling grateful.
Maybe I did need to slow down. We all do. The trick is to do it before you get sick. Take time to sleep. Enjoy a meal. Dream. Meditate. Pray. Read a book. Enjoy a luxuriating shower. Do absolutely nothing. It’s so much more enjoyable when your head doesn’t feel like it’s going to explode. Trust me on this.
“There is more to life than increasing its speed.” ~Mohandas K. Gandhi