Lessons from Snot

I’m home from work with a cold today.

And it’s taught me something.

I’m snuggled in a blanket, tea in hand, just up from a nap, and through my foggy head things are seeming somehow a little clearer.

I often…very often…have this nagging sense that I am not doing all I could to spend my energy on that which is beautiful in my life. I work to make my life very full, but is it complete? There are many, many things in my life that I love, I cherish, that bring me joy and grow compassion and connection. But as a self-admitted Recovering Type A, I often spend my time doing other things… preparing for a presentation, thinking of a way to be a better friend, make more money, have a cuter apartment. I fill my life from top to bottom with plans, lists, and dreams, and my mind ends up filled from top to bottom as well.

No space to breathe, move, think, reset.

And then I get sick.

Shocker, right?

I was sick at my wedding (like, really sick), I had intense fatigue a year ago that led to two days straight of sleeping and a week of convincing myself I had mono, I got a fever in the middle of this summer. I do tons of yoga, eat a healthy plant-based diet, keep a regular sleep schedule, but yet I often find myself down and out…not feeling as great as I might. I can check off every box in the healthy person checklist, but yet I’m not feeling great. And I think I know what’s happening here.

My body is slowing my down because I won’t do it on my own.

I have a choice. I can choose to shove myself full of Dayquil and caffeine and head in to work. I’ll avoid feeling guilty, inferior, weak.

Or I can choose to listen to what my intuition is telling me about this sickness.

My life is full but I’m only flirting with making it feel complete as well, and that’s something I am going to keep working on. When I’m still for a day, the movement I miss is not the hectic pace of work but the movement of my body. Not my identity as an employee but my identity as a friend, wife, sibling, daughter. connection with loved ones. You know what happened yesterday? (SHOCKER COMING) The world didn’t explode nor did I melt into a puddle of water because George and I watched American Hustle on Sunday afternoon instead of checking our progress on sticking with our budget or running errands or cooking.

It’s okay to be still.

That is something I am going to keep telling myself until I believe it, feel it in my bones, and live a life that reflects that. This stillness, this silence, it’s very loud. There’s a very loud message of slowing down going on.

And I just might do it.

And until then, I’m going to use this sick day as a lovely justification to eat ice cream and watch Sex and the City for the millionth time.

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