I want to write about something, anything, but this—but, if I am to stay true to reporting my findings since last I wrote, then I must disclose that I've been mostly bedridden since Tuesday with an Epic Cold. Which means my latest findings are of a particularly horizontal, tissue-break-friendly nature. Aiming to stay curious means, sometimes, slowing alllll the waaaaay down (as if by choice!) and seeing what happens, or doesn't happen. My results?
H A P P E N E D
- daytime napping
- showers (mainly for the steam)
- meaningful conversations with my Love Interest
- side-by-side comparison of three different flavors of Halls throat lozenges (cherry won)
- 3:30 a.m. email catch-up...because I was awake and couldn't lie there any longer
- stretches of time where I felt sort of, somewhat, like an only-slightly-sick human and could sink into a task for an hour or so
D I D N ' T H A P P E N
- nighttime sleeping
- steps, or exercise of any kind (can't remember the last time I went for an actual walk)
- phone calls, coaching, touch-bases (canceled everything)
- all three meals in one day
- generative writing (rote is where it's at; give me something to transcribe and I'll transcribe it)
- a proper trying-on of dress options for my brother and sister-in-law's marriage celebration this coming Sunday (threw two into my suitcase and am hoping for the best)
An old friend of mine who happens to be equal parts creative rebel and hardcore scientist once told me her secret for coping with anxiety (she had lots of it). "I just get really interested in it," she said. And what she meant was this: She treated her anxiety like it was the results of an experiment she'd just conducted. She'd say to herself, Hmm, I seem to be experiencing symptoms of anxiety, and then she'd analyze it and play with it and observe it, exactly as she would something to which she had no emotional attachment. Sometimes, it was, Huh, I could've responded half of a dozen different ways to this thing; I wonder why my brain went with anxiety. Or, How interesting! This situation seems to be triggering a fight-or-flight response. Is there any real cause to fight or flee, here? That outlook gave her a little distance from the Scary Thing, enough distance that she could actually learn something about herself from it.
Being so sick for longer than I'd hoped has me doing something similar: making flat observations like the ones above, documenting the events of the past week without an emotional attachment to (or a need to change) the outcome. There's something about listing it so plainly—here's what happened, here's what didn't—that allows all of it to be what is. Which is the surrender I most need now, anyway.
Where in your life can you become a bit more factual, and, in turn, grow in your acceptance of what is? Hit 'reply' and share with me.
P.S. Wishing a warm and twinkly Merry Christmas to you! May this holiday season bring you the brightness and lightness you most need.
Notes from the week of December 13
+ how very much I love Vicks VapoRub and how I have no shame about applying it to my philtrum on the regular (and how I'm blissfully ignorant about how bad for my health this might be)
+ the name for the vertical groove between my nose and upper lip
+ how very much I like the word 'philtrum'
+ Puffs lotion tissues, infused with the scent of Vicks (I clutched a handful of these to my face in the deepest, darkest hours of congested sleeplessness)
+ Bill "Bojangles" Robinson's step dance from 1934 (via my mom)
MEALS EATEN, DRINKS DRUNK
+ hot toddies (preparation pictured in header)
+ vegetable soup
+ Margherita pizza (consumed ravenously just yesterday)
+ eggs & toast
+ copious quantities of hot tea (always with honey)
+ Zarbee's cough relief nighttime drink mix (oddly enough, made me cough more, but the melatonin put me to sleep)
READ & NODDED MY HEAD
+ Jenna & Rich
+ two movies at the drive-in tonight
+ going for a long, slow walk
+ queso (always)
+ sitting in the middle seat on the plane (unpleasant anticipation for this one)
+ seeing my parents
+ reuniting with cousins and best friends