Gifts of Being Sick


A different track.

A different track.


Nobody likes being sick.  I notice I often fall into self-pity when I am very ill.  And that makes me feel worse.  But recently I got sick with a cold. I noticed something during this short trip into the land of body aches, runny nose and general malaise.  It's a huge reset.  I stare a lot when I am sick.  Just stare into space.  I find reading can be tiresome.  The internet is grating.  Talking is difficult. Movies make my headache worse.   People seem to be on a different track than you are when you are sick.  So you are left to being with yourself in an intimate way you might only do when you are striped of all your other doings. (You can see why some people won't allow themselves to rest... to much reflection time.)

     I found that beneath my general discomfort was also rising this feeling of being unbound, untethered to the everyday busy-ness of life; I felt free.  And here in this in between space of neither desperately ill nor fully better, was a place of deep reflection.   I wonder: is there a way that I can capture this disengagement when I am well?  I recall when I have gone the whole weekend by myself with no screens, I have also felt this same calm.  Hmmmm.  People use meditation, dance, even gardening to reach this same type of engaged disengagement.  It is deeply satisfying when you don't fight it.  And that is the hard part.  We fight so hard to stay on top of everything, do everything on our list, that I wonder if we miss out on precious interior musings that are too quiet to be heard over the din of normal life.    What other gifts do we miss?

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