Photo by The Notebook Doodles
I have been sick for a few days. It is not like me to lie around in bed all day sleeping my cares away, but that’s what I’ve been doing for the last 72 hours. Well, that and reading. I have a sinus infection and the flu with a high fever too. I’ve lost three pounds in three days. Fun times. Our oldest daughter is just getting over the flu, and I think my husband has the beginnings of it now too. My youngest had it two or three weeks ago. Nice–Now I’m losing track of time too.
You know when you get really sick, have a fever, chills, sweats, and your mind gets really foggy? Everything seems otherworldly. No, I’m not crazy, you may not admit it, but I’m betting it’s happened to you too. Everything’s in slow motion and every interaction becomes more or less meaningful because you’ve been forced to slow down from the go go go thinking and be real right now. You know, think consciously without all the distractions of life.
My husband came to check on me before he left to pick up our daughters’ at my mom’s house. He asked if he could get me anything. I said, “No, but thank you.” When he left, I got up to get myself some Gatorade and saw a note from him. It was a “To Do” list of sorts.
1. Washer Repair Thursday between 8 am to Noon.
2. Volvo is leaking oil bad!
3. Thursday Soccer at 5 or 5:45pm. (Our other daughter has piano in a different town at the same time.)
Where’s the love letter with “I hope you feel better and xo’s”? That was my first thought, and then I thought, he’s sick too (not as bad as me, but still) and he’s running around checking my oil, picking up the kids, and working on our washing machine. My mind wanders…
I won’t have a washing machine for a week, I’ll probably waste a whole day at the Volvo dealership for my car to be fixed, I’ll be hanging out at the laundromat for the next week, and I’m behind on everything! I even missed my Saturday night out with the girls.
Cry me a river. So what, who cares? Life goes on. I can make any situation fun and enjoyable if I decide to.
While my mind is muddled, the usual irritants don’t hold the same regard as they normally would. My expectation of life running smoothly is less right now. Even though I hate being sick, I like the way my mind is working. The only thoughts and feelings I’m holding onto are things like: What can we do every day to be more connected as a family? What can I do to enjoy every day a little more? What do I want to do that I’m not doing? Why? What part of my life is being taken over by negative thoughts or feelings? Time to throw that crap out. Life’s little inconveniences and irritations are so unimportant compared to our relationships, our attitudes, and how we decide to live our daily lives.
We are in control here.
I love this quote by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. He pretty much sums up what I’m thinking, but does so with far more clarity and lyrical beauty.
“I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather. I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration, I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis is escalated or de-escalated, and a person is humanized or de-humanized. If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming.”
P.S. Today I am guest posting over at Off Our Chests. My post is about Body Image, Self-Esteem, and The Media. I’d love to hear what you think.