Thursday, January 6, 2011

Getting Sick Over the Holidays

This might be another post which makes my faithful readers say "What the hell?  That's not worth doing just for it's own sake!  That sucks!"  And fair enough.  But I'm going to write about it anyway, because actually, there are some aspects of getting sick over the holidays that make it a pretty alright choice.

First, think about the holidays: they are fun, but they can be stressful.  There's always a lot of running around to do, multiple dinners to attend, family to see, old friends who are home at the same time to visit... The list goes on.  It gets crazy quickly, and the lead-up to the holidays isn't all pleasant expectation and relaxation, but organisation of many different people's lives to converge at one point in time in one place, and gift-giving, and money spending, and meal planning.  It's intense.  This is even coming from me, and I have a very small family, especially compared to my best friend (who has something like 13 aunts and uncles and an exponentially expanding number of cousins). 

Then think about getting sick: you are forced into jammies.  You lie around on couches and nap in your bed, you watch a lot of movies, you get tucked in with blankets and tea and hunker down to wait for the end of the virus-seige that your body is under.  If you're lucky, there might be other healthier people around to help you, to get you snacks and cold medicine, to feel your forehead and peel layers away from you when you're burning up.  You might feel like total crap, but you get lots of tender loving care from those around you, and you get a ticket out of any events you just don't really deep-down feel like attending.  There are up-sides to getting a cold or flu virus, you see.

So getting sick over the holidays is actually a hidden piece of greatness in life.  Yes, you do still feel awful, maybe even like you've been hit by a train, sore body, head-achy, lungs on fire.  But that only lasts for a couple of days, and you get at least 5 days of sick time out of any virus.  So, while you still feel too crappy to go out into the world and interact with a whole pile of people, you feel well enough to play some board games and watch movies.  Over the holidays you might again be with people you love and who love you, and so you get to spend a whole lot of time with them instead of having to run around and spread yourself thin seeing old friends and acquaintances who have very tentative ties to your life at this point in time (not that they're not important, but when you're sick you get to prioritize so that you don't spend too much energy - you have to rest up and get better!).

Unfortunately, this does sometimes mean that you miss out on things that you really did want to do.  For example, I was sick this holiday and because of that Drew decided to stay home with me one night and we missed his friend, Sylvia's, Christmas dinner party.  That was a bummer.  Drew got sick after me (or from me, as he claims) and we ended up missing a dinner that is kind of a yearly reunion of his friend group from high school.  That was also a bummer.  We didn't feel very energetic, and maybe missed out on some fun that we could otherwise have had. 

On the other hand, we spent three full days hanging out with Drew's parents, the four of us, in the living room watching movies and playing games.  We took turns cooking and getting each other juice, water, and tea.  We shared germs and Tylenol Cold and Flu (r).  We got to know each other and had a lot of laughs, despite our sickness.  Drew and I ventured out on one day for a walk in the woods behind his parents' house on one of those very cold blue sky days, and though it was a short walk it was just what the doctor ordered.  We had a far more relaxed and uneventful holiday than we would have had if we were feeling better, and in a way that was really very nice.  Despite the disappointment of missing get-togethers that would have been awesome, we had a pretty great time snuggling on the couch with hot Neocitran and 'Death at a Funeral'.

Next time the holidays start to look out of control, I might consider catching a cold again.

1 comment:

  1. Loved this one Kate! Wholeheartedly agree too :)