Germ Warfare (Cough, Sniff….I have a cold)
My daughter Melissa is learning about the respiratory system in her 8th grade science class, and has made a habit of reciting every step in the unbelievably complicated process that happens when a human being just takes a simple breath. For me however, all I know is that a breakdown in the respiratory process translates into a trip to the drug store to purchase tissues, throat lozenges, nasal spray, and a decongestant. Yes, my friends, you guessed it. I have a cold.
The first stirring of my battle with germ warfare began two days ago on a Thursday morning when I woke up a bit more tired than usual. You see, on most days I am a self-described morning person. The hour and a half between 6:30 am and 8am are the most productive time of day. Two loads of laundry come in and out of the wash, clothes are ironed, lunch is made, dishes are cleaned, Melissa is hugged goodbye (in private of course, lest her bus mates see a public display of affection), breakfast is made, coffee is brewed, and then, after all of that, I sit at the computer and chat with friends on Facebook, all before I leave for work.
However, when Thursday morning dawned, my sluggishness clearly indicated that something had gone amiss in the ole respiratory process. Sure, I had the sniffles, but I chalked it up to allergies. At work I struggled to focus as I counted the hours until my warm bed beckoned, promising a night of peaceful oblivion where any potential cold germs would be washed away by sunrise.
Admittedly, by evening on a typical day, I’ve usually expended most of my energy. After dinner, I ride my exercise bike, slip on my pajamas then watch TV, go on the computer or read until about 10 pm, my self-imposed bed time. I know that I could be much more productive during the evening hours, however, I simply have nothing left to give. On Thursday evening however, bedtime came even earlier, at 8:30 pm. “I’ll feel better in the morning,” I tried to convince myself.
All too soon, my alarm clock rudely blared its wake up warning. I groaned, rolled onto the floor, stumbled into Melissa’s room, blew my nose (that woke her up) and stood there until she assured me she would not go back to sleep. Then I crawled back into bed, comfortably snuggled under the cozy blankets, thinking of all of the reasons why I should call in sick. Unfortunately, logic took over and I soon found myself showered and dressed, behind the wheel of the car on the short drive to work, hoping the hot coffee would help poke a hole in my clogged nasal passages.
I had another incentive for getting through the day, dinner plans with a dear friend I hadn’t seen for months. Over our meal, she sympathized with me as I continuously reached for the stack of tissues stuffed into my pocketbook. Laughter temporarily pushed the congestion aside as we talked of our children, our husbands, our health, our diets, vacations, movies, and books. We wondered why, as women, we don’t allow ourselves to simply take time for ourselves. We seem unable to simply pause during our day and relax with a good book, or watch TV. We’re always thinking, “I should be more productive, I should be doing something more.” We don’t know how to give ourselves a break. Sigh.
Well today is Saturday, and my respiratory system is in a state of full disarray. Knowing I could enjoy the wonders of sleeping beyond the call of the rooster, I popped some night time cold medication last night, which promptly sent me into the land of bad dreams, a state I didn’t awaken from until 10 am. My husband Bob, displaying his loving nature, decided to pamper me by keeping his distance, lest my germs infect him as well.
So today I will try to allow myself to just be. Yes, there are dirty dishes piled high in the sink, dirty clothes piled high in the laundry, and dirty tissues piled high next to my bed. I could be so productive but I’ll give in, I’ll just rest. In this game of germ warfare, I admit it, I lose.
Comments and feedback are encouraged and welcome. For some reason, many people have told me they have left a comment, but it has not appeared. To leave a comment, click on the arrow next to "comment as", then choose "anonymous". If you would like to include your name, please leave your name in the body of your post. Once you have posted your comment and chosen anonymous, then hit publish. Check the page the make sure your comment appeared. Thank you!!