when not to make big plans


i have the ‘flu. okay, it’s not the ‘flu it’s a cold, but it’s a bad one. well, not bad, but i’m definitely miserable. my nose is running like a tap, i have the fuzzy brain that comes from congestion, i’m ache-y and cough-y, and yesterday i’m pretty sure i set a world record for sneezing.

there’s a slight possibility that i’m not entirely stoic about small bumps, bruises, and injuries. big problems i can deal with; i stiff-upper-lip it and make no complaints but the smaller stuff? i can whine about that for hours. i want tea and sympathy. i want to wallow. i want to crawl into bed and have my mother come over to feed me lemon and honey and offer sympathy and comfort. being a grown-up is not always a thrill.

for the first two days, i did a whole lot of nothing. most of the nothing took place on the couch in front of the television which, despite a netflix subscription and a hundred plus channels offered up nothing worthwhile in the way of distraction. i could’ve watched the news channels, i suppose, there’s always something enraging to get worked up about there but i’m on a social media break this week and avoiding cable news is part of that ban. i must admit that the abstaining has me feeling a little better, mentally. the cold has taken care of any sense of physical well-being.

i feel better today. not good, but i think i’ve gotten over the worst of the worst and am now sliding towards recovery. this would be good news save for the weird little quirk in my brain that takes physical illness or emotional distress as a sign that i should suit up and fix everything that’s currently wrong in my life.

suffering from a congested head and an achy body? this would be the perfect time, my brain tells me, to start that daily walking plan i’ve been thinking about. ignore the fact that the idea of even getting dressed sucks. get up and get going, you wallower. since i’m going to be exercising, i should probably go shopping and stock up on actual food; now would be a good time to re-invigorate my desire to feed myself better. and what’s wrong with your closet and your room? how can you possibly have a decent life if the spaces in it that hide the flotsam and jetsam aren’t rigorously organized and perfected?

i have no idea why i like to set myself up for failure this way. i know that’s what i’m doing because i know deep down, behind the push to perform, that i won’t be going for that long walk – and with the way my throat and chest aches that’s probably a good thing. i also won’t be settling myself in the kitchen to cook up masterpieces; who’d want to eat the germy offerings anyhow? and the reorganizing will have to wait for another day.

i have no idea why i’m compelled to make things harder on myself when i’m down, but it’s something i consistently do. maybe it’s a wiring quirk, or a function of low self-esteem, or a desire to prove myself right when i label myself a failure. regardless of the reason, it’s annoying. however, rather than berate myself for it any further today, i think i’ll consciously revisit those mental suggestions and redirect my brain. we are not going to go for a walk today, or shop, or bake, or reorganize and tidy, or anything else and that’s okay. i’m going to take it easy and be nice to myself, because while having a cold is a miserable experience, it’s doesn’t actually make me a failure. and one of these days i’m going to eliminate that repetitive thought from my repertoire.


(may 26, 2018)

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