By Gene Myers
We are busy creatures of habit running on autopilot. Sometimes we are jostled awake naturally and sometimes we create our own distractions, like officious looking groundhogs placed strategically around the country in front of news cameras and men in top-hats.
Of course it’s not our fault that we need a holiday built around groundhogs. It wasn’t our fault that we perked up when we felt the nip in the air and raced to put pumpkins on our porches.
We were just looking for a change. But the next thing we knew, the holidays were gone and we were stuck in the middle of winter with no end in sight.
I suffered a similar kind of psychological fate last week when I caught a bad bug. You know the feeling you get when you are sick for so long that you can’t even remember what it felt like to be healthy?
You suck on lozenge after lozenge through coughing fit after coughing fit. The pressure in your head won’t release even though your nose flows like a river.
With every miserable trek to the bathroom I missed the days when it didn’t hurt to move. I missed them a little more each time as the memory of moving about in the sun faded. My hopes focused on smaller and smaller victories with each new ache. My cold settled in.
Ahhh…the simple pleasure of being able to breathe while lying on my back! I started off logical: get rest and plenty of fluids. But soon I resorted to my own hokum rituals, like Cold Eeze, Airborne and chicken soup.
I was stranded in the middle of a cold that was so bad, I even daydreamed about going back to work! I know that sounds strange to say. At the first sign of a fever I was thinking, “Whoo-hoo! Sick days! I’m not getting dressed! I’m staying in bed! Daytime TV! No laundry!”
But by the end of my mucus-filled forced vacation, I was hankering for the days when I could do the dishes or head to the store without thinking about it.
I was ready to take breathing for granted again. That realization was the true beauty of being sick. The only silver lining in my winter of discontent.