My husband, daughter and I were all sick last week. I’ve heard in the news that this was an unusually challenging flu season but I think they say that every year. And, no, none of us got a flu shot.
While my daughter “only” had an ear infection and responded well to antibiotics, my hubby and I were sent to live in the land of symptom management. I thought about all of those chronically sick or elderly (or both) couples and how they possibly manage to keep liking each other.
Having to cancel appointments and meetings, I though I’d have the chance to catch up on reading and writing. No such luck. Too fuzzy-headed to concentrate, I spent the week on the couch watching old episodes of “Lie to Me” on Netflix, drinking copious amounts of tea and consuming shameful quantities of Cheetos.
Normally it’s easy for me to keep quite busy and active. (It makes me think of Georg’s comment to Baroness Schraeder in The Sound of Music, “Activity suggests a life full of purpose.”) Aside from my practice, I have my writing, promoting my book, speaking engagements, volunteer work, hobbies and then there’s the stuff of everyday life: taking care of family, pets and the home and tending to friendships. When you’re too sick to do any of these things, it makes you think about who you are and what your value is in this world. It makes you redefine yourself.
So much of our lives are consist of thinking about who we are, what we do, how much money we make, where we live etc. I love that song by Alanis Morissette, “That I would be good.” I love that she sings about giving herself permission to not be preoccupied with or defined by these things of life. While it did so in a much less poetic way, that’s what the flu taught me.