When I was 2 years old I came down with a terrible case of mono. It went on so long that the doctor warned my parents that unless I was able to consume some kind of fluids soon, I would need to be hospitalized. Naturally concerned, my parents watched and waited, nervously hoping that I’d show some sign of recovery before hospitalization became necessary. Finally, I showed my first signs of life by yelling at my older brother. A behavior so typical for the “normal” me at age 2 that my parents took it as the sign of recovery they were looking for. I was finally coming back to life.
It seems that when knocked out with an illness, a person often recoups mentally faster than physically, almost like a precursor to wellness.
Since becoming a mom years ago, I’ve endured more colds and viruses than I can count. I’m currently in a once per month sick trend since the beginning of the school year. Like a lot of moms, I cannot stand to be taken out of commission by anything. What else would cause a mother to let the laundry pile up, the kids wear pajamas until noon, the house to resemble a landfill, and lunches come from drive through restaurants? Either a mom attempting to read all 4 installments of Twilight or a mom with the flu.
This past week, I’ve been patiently suffering through another terrible illness. I vowed to myself that I would do a better job at “letting things go”, not growing anxious or frustrated about all the things I couldn’t do while sick in bed. And as it turned out, I became sick enough to where nothing crossed my mind at all. I could only lay and wait for conditions to improve. It takes a mighty wind to knock a mom off her feet. Most of us work through the discomfort and lethargy of many illnesses, so we know it’s serious when we give in to giving out.
I tried to “trick” myself into feeling better, just by proclaiming so in the mornings, thinking my good attitude would translate into improvement of my ailments. However, after attempting to so much as put a bowl of cereal out, I was out of energy and positive thoughts. I had to do my best in spite of things, and unfortunately the kids logged much more gaming time, and were served foods that were sub-par of the nutrition they ought to have. In the spirit of my vow to let things go while I was sick, I wrote these things off to the situation at hand.
On day 6, while watching a play back of some old day time talk shows I had on DVR, I found my interests pegged on a show about spring cleaning. Something in me perked up, and I began to think about all the little cleaning projects I couldn’t wait to get done. Sure, I couldn’t empty the dishwasher, but now I was obsessed with cleaning out the drip pan under my fridge and dusting the ceiling fans. I got out bed, still feeling sick and woozy, but a little motivated somehow. I was growing impatient with being ill, ready to move on. I went downstairs to join my family, and to my surprise, I had a lot to say (for the first time in days) I went on to launch my plan to get the kids back on track, reduce the screen time back to something reasonable, and for goodness sake get something green on their plates. Just like in my cranky outburst as a 2 year old, it seemed that some mental current was back. There’s no rushing getting well, and often times it’s a lesson in patience (and tolerance). But after long enough there just might come a moment of resolve that will help see us through.