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Spirituality and the common cold

January 3, 2014

Life can often be ironic.

After working an entire (very busy) year without a single sick day taken, I made it to my 17-day end-of-year holiday break and by the time I got half way through I was felled with a head cold and stomach virus that managed to stop me completely.  The irony isn’t really all that profound if you think about it.  My busy weekdays of 11-hour work days, meetings and fellowship, phone calls and my wonderful personal relationship kept the wheels turning endlessly.  My weekends were equally jammed often starting too early on Saturday morning and ending too late on Sunday.  Very rare was the occasion that I would be able to sleep more than the 5-6 hours a night, and often they were interrupted 3 or 4 times (I am in my 50’s and have a husband and three pets who sleep with me… need I say more?)  It stands to reason that the high-wired, multi-tasking, over-achiever with a dash of perfectionism and a penchant for workaholism might succumb to something, nay ANYthing at the very moment I was able to transition out of the hamster wheel and into relaxation… along around day #10 of the break.

Yes… it took that long, but it was Christmas during the first part of the holiday.  All the parties, the preparations, the holly jolly camaraderie and peace on Earth.  I wasn’t really relaxing until after all that was put to rest.  Very soon, before the New Years Eve festivities were coming towards us, I finally was breathing steadily in and out and settling in for that much anticipated uneventful and rejuvenating week of as little as possible… when all of a sudden it hit.  It had waited.  It pounced.  It took hold.

And suddenly I got the extremely uneventful week that I had hoped for.  Almost TOO uneventful.  When we are warned to be careful what we wish for there is a reason.

But a strange thing can happen to a sober soul during an unplanned stay-in-bed or lay-on-the-couch period.  The world becomes a bit more bleak and solitary (yes, even with the husband, pets, sponsees, friends and the entirety of Facebook.)  The concepts of hope, optimism and faith can temporarily be shielded by a bit self-obsession, gloom and the doldrums.  Acceptance seems just a bit out of reach and patience is experienced mostly during the many hours of sleep.

Have you ever noticed that when you are sick it feels like you will never, ever, ever be well again?

And with this phenomenon of manchild pouting (even in the most accepting of moments being sick can feel like an episode in neediness) comes the ultimate irony for me.  Whereas I will spend so many of the hamster-on-the-wheel moments daydreaming about taking time off and lying around doing nothing, I get just that and find myself looking forward to getting right back on the wheel.

Did I say that out loud?

Here’s to the next chapter in my pretty darned amazing life.  Here’s to 2014.   Whatever you are doing don’t forget to:

Stop. Smile. Breathe.

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