I was couch bound last week. I felt it coming and I tried my hardest to prevent it, but try as I might, I just couldn’t escape. After 2 days of clogged ears and a scratchy throat I struggled to sleep that night with a full blown head cold. By 4am I was done tossing and turning so I went out to my couch and watched an episode of Friends followed by a Hallmark movie. By 6:45am I got my groggy self into a hot shower to clear the yuck in my head and get ready to get my people ready for school.
8am rolled around and my boys were on the bus and I was completely exhausted. I got all the fixings for homemade soup into the crockpot, made myself breakfast and tea and returned to the couch-which was no easy task after badly bruising my tailbone 2 weeks ago from an epic fall on the ice on our driveway. I got ready for a Hallmark movie marathon, but a nagging thought kept crossing my mind, words that I uttered out loud just a little while earlier-I don’t have time to be sick.
I don’t have time to be sick? What does that even mean? Am I implying that I believe I should be untouchable or that my work is so important that I can’t possibly have time to be sick? Or perhaps it means, I don’t have time to take care of myself because my priority is taking care of everyone else… Of all those choices I am landing on the last one, because I believe that is what my heart meant when those words came out of my mouth.
Have you ever seen the movie, God’s Not Dead? In the movie, one of the main characters finds out she has cancer, and she tells the doctor, “I don’t have time for cancer.” I remember seeing that movie and thinking, “wow, this lady is a piece of work. How dare she say that. Who does she think she is? She doesn’t have time for cancer, well sorry lady, you don’t get a choice!” And in the same way, I don’t get a choice if I am going to come down with a cold, a stomach bug or if I am to get hurt on a sheet of ice on my driveway or any other scenario I could imagine. My youngest just got his cast off today and I think my oldest may have broken his finger today and while I am trying my hardest not to be completely ticked off, that voice in my head wants to scream I DON’T HAVE TIME FOR THIS! But truly and sincerely THIS is life, and we don’t get to choose the struggles and trials that come our way on a daily basis, but we can most certainly choose how we react to them.
So last week when I had a cold and I thought, I don’t have time for this, my hubby is at the station for 48 hours, I could have camped out there, sucked it up and went about my daily life, cleaning the bathroom, doing laundry, running errands… But instead I thought, no I do have time for this, I have time to care for myself and about myself. And I did. I took that whole day off of life. I mean sure when my kids got home I had to do dishes, assist with homework, make dinner and such, but for those 7.5 hours that my kids were gone, I had some serious self care going on. I mean like 4 hallmark movies, a snooze here and there(I suck at napping, I really do), I drank elderberry syrup, stayed hydrated with water and tea, ate greens, made my delish crock pot soup, and it was ok. It was ok that the laundry didn’t get done. It was ok that the bathroom was DISGUSTING. It was ok that I didn’t vacuum. It was all ok, because by that night, I was feeling a tiny bit better, and I can almost guarantee that if I hadn’t taken that day for self care, this nasty head cold would have dragged on for longer.
How will I react next time a trial comes my way? I pray I will react with grace, compassion and love, I really do, so in the meantime and in between time, I shall make it a priority to practice those reactions to the little things, so maybe when the big things rolls around, I can handle those with a better attitude than thinking, “I don’t have time for this.”