Did you like how I posted about getting ready to do ALL the Christmas things, right before I dropped off the map, unexpected-trap-door style?
(John made this gif. Bless you for correcting that glaring omission in the gif world, sweetie.)
Fortunately I'm guessing most of you have been too distracted by the Thanksgiving long weekend to notice. See, I'm a master of scheduling sickness that way. (Or a... sick scheduler? Eh? EH?)
This past week has been a hazy blur, quite literally as I've been locked in my bedroom with the humidifier cranked 12 hours a day. (The framed art on our walls has actually wrinkled. ACK.) I can't remember the last time I was this sick - if ever - so I'd forgotten what it was like to have life screech to a halt.
Well, of course LIFE didn't stop, but I sure did. It wasn't so much like hitting a brick wall as it was like skidding over a soggy sponge and floomphing down into a mud puddle full of piranha and those freaky ear bugs from Star Trek: Wrath of Khan.
(Sometimes, when I freestyle, my analogies lose confidence.)
Anyhoo, I won't bore you with details, but going from viral bronchitis to a sinus/ear infection and then I think some flu mixed in? was negative five stars, would not recommend. I'm still on the mend; stabby ice picks in both ears and super weak, but I'm able to stay conscious for a few more hours each day. I'm even wearing a bra again (you're welcome, universe), which is really the crappiest way to celebrate feeling better, right? It's like, "Oh you can breathe without coughing again? Quick, go put on restrictive clothing and answer a month's backlog of e-mail! YAY ADULTHOOD!"
(Kidding. I never answer e-mail.)
John, meanwhile, is still coughing after nearly a month, though he says he feels fine. He also claims he doesn't need tea or steam or honey or medicine or hot liquids, so let's all have a collective Liz Lemon eye roll in his general direction:
Now a little serious talk.
I decided a bunch of years ago that I would never post anything hopeless online. That no matter how sad or panicky or angry, I would always at least end by sharing a little light, or a little faith that things will be better. It's been a beautifully helpful guideline, if only as a reminder to myself to look up when things get dark.
All that to say, I've been offline not just because I was sick, but because I haven't been able to find that light. I've been so excited, eagerly planning these few weeks all year, and I was already behind, than BAM. Suddenly not being able to move - much less work or shop or decorate or craft - left me darn near inconsolable. Being sick was one thing, but missing out on my favorite holiday crafts and sales and time with friends while simultaneously watching both blogs grind to a halt? Oof. Not good. I've been angry and petulant and so sad I've literally sobbed into my soup - twice. I'm not proud of this, but I'm putting it out here for a reason.
Actually, a couple of reasons:
First and foremost, I think it's poetic I was feeling so entitled and angry on Thanksgiving. I needed that kick in the teeth, that reminder how much I take for granted. The day hit me especially hard - so weak! - but with John's help I emerged, wraith-like, from my fog cocoon to have dinner with friends. Almost everything went wrong: John's bread rolls imploded, inedible, and his turkey was - well, it was turkey, how good can that be? - the gravy was watery, then our friend accidentally used salt instead of sugar in the sweet potatoes, and honestly by the end we were all laughing so hard that it was the best Thanksgiving meal I've had in years. Afterward I crawled right back into bed, but for those few hours I remembered what was important. For those few hours, I really was thankful.
Which is the other thing I've been contemplating: that this, too, is temporary. (Well, let's hope with the sickness thing.) Some people - some reading this post right now, even - are in pain ALL the time. Some people are always this weak. Some people never have the option to make pretty things or decorate their houses. Even at my worst, I have the hope and promise that I won't always feel this way.
And finally, the main thing I'm taking away from 7-days-and-counting of Life on Pause: it's not just about the little things, you guys. It's about the tiny things. John holding my hand on the couch. A fresh cup of tea. Seeing what necklace Kim Joy is wearing today on Great British Bake-Off. When we're miserable we get tunnel vision, usually laser focused on everything bad. But this past week when I could shift that focus onto a good thing, even a little, that's when I remembered there is light.
The trouble is, I didn't remember those tiny things matter in what I'm doing, too. I let myself wallow. I forgot my rule. I dumped all my sadness on John, and made him suffer, too. Maybe if I'd made myself write for you guys, I'd have remembered to look up.
So hey, if you're out there wallowing right now, look for the tiny good things. If you have someone to hold your hand, grab on. If you find yourself spiraling, turn on British Bake-Off, or start a meme war with a friend on Facebook. Don't be like me and isolate yourself to focus on what you're missing or what's wrong; find some good right here, right now.
I'm still a million miles behind with a splitting earache, but I'll do what I can and try to take it easy on myself for all the rest if you will. Deal?
Now let's watch this rap battle so all the non Flight of the Conchords fans out there will get my hee-LAR-ious reference from about 10 paragraphs ago:
[Warning: mild language]
"Did Steve tell you that?!" :D