The One Good Thing About Having the Flu…

…bet you didn’t know there was anything good about having the flu!  There is only one thing:  It causes us (me) to check out of normal life for a while and notice that the world goes on without a dramatic crash and burn (even though I think the world should crash and burn because it does, after all, revolve around me.  Without me as its axis, the world would go spinning off into the Milky Way and sky hook itself into some black hole.)  In this way, the flu is like *gasp* a vacation or a holiday.  It lifts us out of the everyday–a time out of time–and allows us to reassess and start fresh.  Pretty weighty stuff for a nasty little virus beast!  I went on this adventure recently.  I was so fatigued that I couldn’t hold my head up straight last Saturday evening, drank some rocket fuel at bedtime *HOTTTTT*, and woke up with my head cracked open.  However, it was nothing that twenty hours of wretched sleep couldn’t cure.  My husband woke me up only to watch Felix Baumgartner plummet to Earth (an image that burned into my burning head–WOW–I want to know how it feels to travel at Mach 1.something with only a suit between you and a vacuum, what goes through your head before you “bunny hop” into NOTHING, and if a body is really meant to travel at that speed or is he totally ruined?)

So, having had time to ponder during my miserable out-of-time experience, I determined it’s time to work on a couple things.  First of all is my love/hate relationship with time.  Yep, time is our worst enemy (can’t stop it), but it’s also our richest resource.  I know I’m not alone feeling like this.  I just get seriously annoyed by the five clocks in my kitchen, adorning every appliance large and small, ticking away and wagging their tongues in my face, reminding me that things have to change.  However, my personal issue with time is that of deadlines.  I’m subject to my own tyrant of a to-do list.  Most of those deadlines are arbitrary and self-inflicted.  I’m going to distinguish them from REAL deadlines.  For example, here are the two important deadlines of the week:  My Sundroid app tells me that the sun is setting around 6PM, and keeping that in mind, if I want to let my dog run free in the daylight without becoming bear bait, I need to get her out significantly before that time.  Another one–carpet installers will be here Thursday afternoon.  The rooms must be clear of furniture, doors, and old carpet before that time.  Here is one of my arbitrary deadlines:  Friday PM bathroom cleaning?  Pahleez–that can wait until Saturday AM at least so I can celebrate my freedom from the Qube on Friday night!  My toilet can be cleaned then…but if I clean it Friday, then I can have time for more work on Saturday.  Sheesh–what an evil thought.

When it comes to arbitrary deadlines, I need to chill when it comes to my arrival to and departure from work.  I am fortunate enough to have a somewhat flexible job (where I edit, the shelves are always full).  I get uptight if I don’t leave for work by a certain time to put in my (approximate) eight hours.  It’s impossible to get there with my current puppy-walking schedule in the AM (again, blame that winter sunlight and the proximity of bears and coyotes).  Really, it’s no big deal.  I relish my time outside on my early-morning walks, so I’ll just thank God for it, not be the very first to work, and call it a day.  Two blessings.

15 minutes.  For the time being, until I incorporate it into my life, I’m going to try to turn my attention more to the present moment.  This is mindfulness, right?  (That just sounds off somehow, as if your brain swells to fill your head or something.) As it takes WORK to change a habit, I’m daring to turn my attention to whatever-the-hell is going on every fifteen minutes, engage my senses, and *gasp* be aware.  It doesn’t take that much effort; it just takes a timer.

And change number three from the flu-baked mind of Ms. ZenHolly: meditation.  I have GOT to try this.  I get so much from prayer when I stop “chattering” and take time to listen and let in what is out there.  I have very interesting shavasana/savasana (however you spell the name for the period of relaxation following a yoga practice) experiences.  Before I fall asleep (which is key here), I feel as if my hands are warm from being held, and I get some pretty nice visuals (often of water and fields of grass) to go along with the package.  I end up feeling, as best I can describe, “more connected” after shavasana.  Take that as you wish.  However, I’m bound and determined to break down the barriers that separate me from…from…what is out there.  It seems very peaceful and friendly. I’ll give this a shot 15 to 20 minutes at a time for several days a week, and this time I will do it sitting up and awake!




~ by rebuildingholly on October 23, 2012.

9 Responses to “The One Good Thing About Having the Flu…”

  1. My kids sleep more when they have the flu. There is always that plus. : /

  2. Yes it is a plus! I did sleep for twenty hours, woke up to (sorta) watch the Packers play, and then I fell back asleep for another eight. That last eight was good!

  3. I had a bad case of the flu last month so I know how you felt.. I think the meditation/yoga is a great idea and I keep telling myself I’m going to start. Tell me how it works out…
    Hope you are feeling better 🙂

    • The megasleep healed me–it always does!

      Yes, I’ll let you know how the meditation works out. I’m starting small, and I feel like I do it to some extent already with yoga (shavasana) and prayer. Doing it regularly will be a big change.

  4. I’m trying to find more quiet spaces in my life–like you said, living in the moment, focusing on the present. To achieve this, I’ve reassessed what’s important to me and I’m weeding out what is not.

  5. “Weeding” makes such a great metaphor, because life’s garden needs weeding on a regular basis, Good luck with your endeavor!

  6. Girl. Flu. Bad.
    I ended up in the hospital last time I had the flu.

    • Thanks, Terri. I am well now! How did you end up in the hospital with the flu–dehydration?

      • I was at the dr. office and had a temp of 104 so he pushed me across the parking lot to the hospital. I was there three days, but I think it was because I reacted badly to the antibiotic or I probably could have gone home a day sooner. I could hardly tell them my name when I got there.

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