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  • Writer's pictureKelly Marks

Sick Days

It’s been a tough week. One day I woke up at about 4 in the morning, and nothing was wrong, but my throat didn’t feel right. It wasn’t sore, but it felt tight. I got up, took some elderberry syrup and moved into the guest room.

When I woke up, I didn’t feel bad, but I didn’t feel good if that makes any sense. I continued for a couple of days, and the cold finally hit. Like everyone these days, after experiencing the slightest mild symptoms I took a covid test. Multiple covid tests on consecutive days. Just a plain old cold but it packed a punch.

And I’m kind of glad it did. I hate being sick, but I think I learned a lot from this one. I have been getting in the habit of feeling like I needed to be working all the time, and based on my to-do list, I did. But this made me realize that the world’s not going to end if I stop. Maybe I need to whittle down that list a little.

And I have stopped this week. I’ve gone to bed early and slept late (thanks to cold medicine). Miraculously, I’ve even managed to take naps as well. And when I wasn’t asleep, I’ve been lying in bed. Thinking. Maybe some navel-gazing going on, but it’s been refreshing.

I’ve rested; I’ve read, watched TV, maybe peeked at TikTok. I haven’t really worked at all. In fact, my whole goal for Friday was to shower. So I even felt like I accomplished something!

Paul brought home a bouquet of sunflowers; a friend brought over chicken soup and all kinds of assorted goodies including a card that was mildly threatening, saying that I needed to get well soon so we can get back to walking. Tons of friends have texted to check in.

To be honest, it was just a cold. It’s been a doozie but still just a cold. And while there’s a feeling of guilt that people have cared and taken care of me so much, I will also tell you it has been incredible. Such thoughtfulness and tenderness.

It has made me question if I take care of my friends the way they take care of me. And it reminds me that everyone needs to feel cherished and cared for.

My chicken soup friend is high energy and very active. A few years ago she said she felt like God was telling her to slow down, but she kept putting it off. One day she bent over to pick up her shoes, and her back went out. Like leaving her on the floor unable to move. She got still and rested for a two-week period. She laughingly says that when she hears the call to slow down now, she listens.

This slowdown has also made me realize that there’s a difference between truly getting still/slowing down and scheduling time to be quiet in 10 minute increments. Our bodies need more and so do our spirits. I don’t think any of us are so oblivious that we don’t recognize the need to slow down, but we justify our busyness. We wear busyness like a badge of honor, but everything in nature shows us the opposite.

The Chinese philosopher Lin Yutang said, “Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is a nobler art of leaving things undone…The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of nonessentials.” I’ve carried that quote in my purse for many years; maybe it’s time to take it out and practice it a little more often.

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