Twelve days ago, I was home from Amsterdam. I felt good about the trip, the work, and preening a bit, fluffing my feathers about how I hadn’t been ill for 2 1/2 years.
I must have invoked one of Murphy’s many laws because two days later, my streak of good health was broken. I got a cold. I wasn’t sick in bed or even sick enough to stop working altogether. But I was ill enough that I was impaired. I didn’t have the intellectual, emotional, or physical capacity that I typically do. My stamina was nil.
I had to slow down. It’s a little against my nature to do so, but I didn’t have a choice.
I couldn’t exercise, and I couldn’t get as much done as I wanted/needed to. I didn’t feel very patient with the whole episode. I never do feel patient with getting sick. In fact, I think “patient” is a weird word choice to use when it comes to being sick. A patient in a hospital? I doubt it.
The icing on the cake came Wednesday. I took some cold meds on an empty stomach and paid the price during the middle of a webinar. I passed out.
Thankfully, I wasn’t on camera, although that would have been extra fun. But I couldn’t finish either.
That’s never happened to me before.
I was okay within a few hours. But I could not will the week to be like a typical week, no matter how much I wanted to or how hard I tried.
There’s a way that I want to show up in the world. I like to be in charge of that. But it’s probably a good thing to get sick occasionally and be reminded that I can never have total control over it. Experiencing the limitations of illness is important to feel empathy for those who are sick, especially those who have a serious, chronic, or terminal illness. To be more empathetic with people who can’t always, or even often, control how they show up.
Getting sick helps me be more grateful. I realized how much I rely on my body to be the vehicle for me to do everything. And I’m blessed that it is very reliable for the most part.
It’s like manna from heaven. We use that expression from the Biblical Old Testament to describe something that just exists in our life, and maybe we don’t value and appreciate that thing until we don’t have it.
Only in its absence does the customary presence of good health and vitality become as important as it really should be every day.
Is there a gift in your life that is, perhaps, going unnoticed, unacknowledged?
Our podcast guests this week are Jeff and Jami Downs, who talk about the value and importance of establishing a winning streak.
They are the delightful authors of Streaking: The Simple Practice of Conscious, Consistent Actions that Create Life-Changing Results. I, for example, am on Day 150 on my Duolingo app and more committed than ever to stick with it because of our conversation. Please listen in.
P.S. My niece (the pole vaulter I wrote about in the newsletter a few weeks ago) started a business crafting and selling earrings. If you want something fun for a teenage or college-age daughter / niece / friend AND want to support my niece in her entrepreneurship, check out her Instagram page.