I had the nice realization on Saturday that I hadn’t been sick in quite some time. Unfortunately that realization was coupled with the unmistakable fact that I had a cold. Sore throat, grogginess, sneezing, coughing, extraordinary fatigue. Yep, definitely a cold.
It’s Tuesday now, so the cold is lingering. Which is fun, because I’ve got stuff to do. Teaching, reading papers, writing, grading…This morning I taught my 8:00 a.m. Ecology lab. My brain isn’t always functioning at optimal efficiency at 8:00 a.m. under the best of circumstances. That coupled with my cold caused me to forgot that my students do, in fact, have an assignment due next week pertaining to the data they collected in class today. I’m sure they were happy to receive the chain of e-mails correcting that mistake! (“What?! She said nothing was due next week!! ) Yay, for groggy brain function!!
That example shows there are also lessons to be gained from getting a cold. You have to take care of yourself. If you stay busy, busy, busy throughout the sickness, you’ll likely just prolong it. You need rest. If you are really sick, you may have to reach out and ask for help. Certainly you have to be compassionate with yourself when you push through your cold symptoms to complete the tasks that life requires.
So during this cold I’m doing the best I can to take care of myself while still maintaining a certain amount of productivity. I’ve been sneaking naps in amongst classes, data analysis, writing, chores, etc… I’ve been drinking a damn lot of tea. I’ve been cancelling appointments and social engagements where I can. Even though I really didn’t want to miss my friend’s bachelorette party on Saturday night, I knew that it was the best thing for me to do considering how crappy I felt. I was in bed at 9:00 that night, after taking two naps during the day…
Surprisingly, I’ve also been feeling very grateful. I don’t get sick as often as I did during the stormy parts of my 20’s, which were many and prolonged. For many years I would get sick with every change of the season, both Spring and Fall. Now I might get sick once a year, and that’s not always true.
I know colds are going around right now. If you have the misfortune to pick up one of these delightful viruses, I hope you’ll remember to take care of yourself as you wipe your sniffles and suck on your cough lozenges.