The gift of minor illness

This past weekend, I was sick. The weekend started with a trip to the emergency room and a diagnosis of strep throat (SO FUN!). The next few days were a weird cross between “Huh, this isn’t as bad as that cold I had in January” and “Oh God…sicker than I thought. Must…nap.” And, probably because I’ve never had strep throat before and had no preconceived ideas about how I “should” feel, I listened to my body every step of the way:

I took a long nap (and didn’t feel like crap afterward)
I lay on the sofa and vegged out
I asked for help when I needed it
I only did housework when I felt up to it
I read an actual book, you guys!

And when Sunday night came around, something magical happened: I didn’t feel that overwhelming sense of “wait…wait…I’M NOT READY” that the approach of the work week often brings. I was calm, I was rested, I was feeling pretty darn good.

There’s a lesson here for me (still…again…it’s a lesson I learn over and over and then forget, it seems). I’ve defined myself for years as Meg the Cardinal Sign, Meg Who Can’t Sit Still. Matthew the Taurus keeps telling me to be still (“be earthy”) on a regular basis, but I have a hard time listening.

This illness was a great reminder that stillness is fun and has benefits I’d almost forgotten. My goal now is to take that quality and bring it into everyday life, be it taking my full 1-hour lunch break and reading a book for fun, taking some time to unwind before bed, or simply not-stressing about not completing every single task on my to-do list. I’ve been working on that this week, and it feels pretty darn good!

Thank you, strep throat, for teaching me this lesson! Now, if I could stop waking up with a sore throat every morning, that would be swell!

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