I woke up this morning feeling cruddy. I have the flu, and while I am not grateful for that, it has generated an awareness of several things for which I am profoundly grateful. Because I am sick- achy all over, with skin and teeth and hair hurting- and lack a certain attention span necessary for a coherent and well written article, I am going to make a list. In no particular order.
- Bagels and packaged cream cheese: an easy breakfast requiring absolutely no effort on my part.
- Not having to work. That’s the biggest one. As I was swallowing aspirin and struggling to work up the initiative to pour a cup of coffee, I realize that I didn’t have to put on makeup, get dressed in anything more complicated than a track suit, get the child to school (Terry offered), and go to a job that required thinking and responsibility. Not only that, my not going to work was in no way going to jeopardize the well being of the family. No money is not being earned, no bills are not going to be paid. I am not bragging. I truly am deeply grateful and amazed that this family is in a position that me being sick for a few days means nothing more than the floors look like crap and the meals are not-quite gourmet. I know that many families are not so fortunate.
- The aformentioned track suit. They’re soft. My skin hurts, and a fever means sometimes I’m burning up (and I can take off the jacket, being home alone means I can take off the jacket and only wear a sports bra, and since I am NOT built like Serena Williams, that can be an unfortunate fashion faux pas, but being home alone means I don’t care), and sometimes I am freezing, and put the jacket on, which being incredibly soft it doesn’t hurt my skin, which hurts. Also my hair hurts. And my eyelashes. And fingernails. But that’s ok.
- Canned soup. I’m not supposed to eat anything from packages or cans, due to kidney and salt issues. But when I am sick I Do Not Care. I don’t feel like simmering chicken legs and roasting garlic and sauteing shallots with barley and chopping oregano and thyme to make homemade chicken soup. I want to crack a can of Campbell’s Tomato and have some crackers and cheese and call it a meal. I want someone to go to Southern Palace and get a quart of Hot and Sour soup and some crab rangoon and those little fried things and make a pot of lemon tea and be waited on the way I wait on them when they’re sick. Which they do, as much as they can, and for that I am deeplygrateful
- Being allowed to be sick. When I was growing up, illness was considered a character flaw in our household. We were permitted one day of puny-ness, anything beyond that was malingering and forbidden. I still carry that notion, and the second , third or 5th day of illness (for me, personally) is as uncomfortable mentally as it is physically. I Should Feel Better. I Am Being Self Indulgent. As a Calvinist Presbyterian, self indulgence is frowned upon. Being married to a Free Will Baptist has softened that philosophy a bit, and I am able to permit other family members to be sick for more than 24 hours, but personally it is still difficult. Having a loving husband who says things like “Take it easy today, that’s an order”, and being a God-fearing wife who believes in things like obedience to my husband (who really does have my best interest in mind, and doesn’t abuse that power AT ALL), I am able to actually take it easy for a second, third, or 5th day.
and that’s all I have the energy for.