At one time, getting sick on a Saturday or on a holiday would usually anger me. I’d have all these plans and lists of things to do. I couldn’t accomplish any of them during the work week having to focus on someone else’s business and not my own. I always looked forward to the weekends to go on a date, to party, to let my hair down and either relax or go a little crazy. As I got older, the party animal in me grew tamer, but the drive to “do something” on my “down” time continued to beckon to me.
I’m not talking about climbing Mt. Everest or deep-sea diving for sunken treasure. I became a family man with family responsibilities, many of which could not be dealt with Monday through Friday. Come Saturday, I could fix the car, clean up the den or other parts of the house, and do the dishes piling up because the clean ones in the dishwasher had yet to be removed.
So, when I get sick now, I disregard all of those mundane tasks. I put them off so that I can gain the strength to battle the invisible invader, be it a severe cold, an aching fever or some unknown ailment that disables me. Had the illness attacked during the week, I’d fight it while going to work, making myself miserable throughout the long days and possibly spreading some germs to co-workers, customers and/or clients at the workplace.
Thank God for getting sick on my day off. I can say “to hell” with work. The world will not come to an end if household chores don’t get done. I have enough clean clothes to wear and food to eat to put off washing and grocery shopping. Let me rest.
Let me be as gentle as a mother soothing her small child who comes to her when the little one doesn’t “feel good.” Like mom, let me take “my child” into my arms and rock back and forth, assuring all will be okay and that I would gladly take all the pain and suffering onto to myself if I could.
Stay in bed, I say to myself when I feel lousy and the clock warns it’s that time of the morning to get up. Pull the covers over your head. Disregard the pet dog and/or cat that are nudging you, gently whining and urging you to pay them attention and feed them.
It’s your time, my ailing friend. Your time to care more for yourself than the ninety-nine percent of the time you’re taking care of others. It won’t hurt anyone or anything if there’s a delay in the routine. You’ll clean the litter box; let the dog go outside, and eventually fill their water and food bowls.
Go ahead and eat an easy-to-prepare breakfast. Pour your child-hood favorite of Cheerios and Rice Krispies into the same bowl. Load it with sugar and add the milk and pretend you’re a kid again, munching away the blues. Eat you comfort food of chicken and rice soup for lunch, and a slice of pizza and a Philadelphia soft pretzel for dinner You’ve earned it! You’re important. You’re loved. You’re the best thing that ever happened to yourself and you got to get well so that you can share the rest of your life helping others feel as good as you on good days and on bad.