Your head feels like it was just hit by a bowling ball. Your nose is running faster than an Olympic sprinter, not to mention your body is shaking like a leaf in the.winter wind. It dawns on your numbed mind that you are sick. But wait, maybe this isn’t so bad
How so, you ask? Because being sick maybe means you’re not dead, at least not yet. Not
convinced? Let’s me expand my argument.
I am currently in the recovery phase from an illness, nothing more than the so-called common cold. But this one was not so common, for me anyway. This litter bugger knocked me off my feet for most of a week, a highly unusual event given my general level of good health. My hiatus from the normal daily routine of morning exercise, writing, connecting with community, etc., was therefore interrupted. My brain couldn’t count to three without locking up. My wife nicknamed my nose Little Niagra. The pillows on the bed beckoned for a timeout to rest. I was not in this world. And this was good?
Actually, yes. Being sick can knock you out of an existential rut. In my case my daily routine was getting too “routine.” It was time to stop and consider what I was doing and why I was doing it.
The mentally alert in my audience might inquire if such deep intellectual journeys are wise or even feasible when ill. Good question. Try to answer that one yourself next time you’re sick. For me, lying motionless staring out at the bland sky with tissue stuffed up my nose, being sick is a great time to think. What the hell else am I going to do? Admittedly, under the influence of numerous pills rumored to combat the symptoms of my illness and knowing that my body is a battleground where millions of germs, good and bad, are fighting for control of my future, clear thought may not be possible. But, in my case, clear thought is not usually possible even when I’m feeling exceptionally well.
That said, I find sick time is thought time, although the results are often black and imponderable.
Are you convinced yet? Well, give me the benefit of the doubt; being sick is a good time to think about life and your legacy, since not being sick means you’re merely worrying about surviving the day’s workload and how to pay the month’s bills.
Let’s try another tack. Being sick is good because then other people take care of you.
Right. If you don’t have people who care about you, then it’s not likely they will care for you. I truly hope this is not your case. If it is, write to me, I can care from a distance.
Another “sick is good” reason: being sick is a legitimate excuse to eat things you know you shouldn’t when you’re healthy. Ice cream, cupcakes, peanut butter and banana sandwiches, even chocolates. True, your particular illness may prevent such forays into the refrigerator since short-term results may involve quick trips to the bathroom to expunge your foolishness. But, nobody but your grandmother is going to give you grief for indulging in your dietary fantasies. Just don’t let your kids see you doing this, it will be very hard to explain why you feed them cod liver oil and sour grapefruit juice when they are ill.
Another good thing about being sick, you finally can have a real, honest excuse to call in to work and say you can’t possibly make it today, which will partially assuage your guilt for the last five times you called in “sick” so you could go fishing (see previous blog).
Lastly, and this may be the only true thing I’ve written on this subject, being sick gives you a chance to appreciate how wonderful it is to feel well and healthy. For, truly, our good health is essential to our happiness and this gift is too often taken for granted.
There, that’s all the convincing I’m capable of right now. I need to go back and crush those pillows with my mucus congested head and give my mind a break. If you need more input on this sick subject, I suggest you do your own research, although I’m not wishing that !