I promptly fired off a few e-mails announcing my uselessness for the day, proclaimed undying love for the hubs and the boy in my most hideous voice, then crashed back to sleep.
Hours later, I awoke starving. A good sign, I thought. My will to live was intact.
I fixed myself a bowl of soup remembering those days of old when I’d spend afternoons watching daytime soaps. I wandered into the TV room, wondering if The Young and the Restless was still on, only to find that I didn’t know how to get the TV to work. Pathetic, I thought of my lukewarm interest in buttons on a remote and my even more tepid attempt to get caught up on a soap.
But then the alternative proved to be much better. I picked up my tablet, curled up in bed, and started reading Alice Walker’s Anything We Love Can Be Saved and Ashley Judd’s All That Is Bitter and Sweet. I can’t get over how cool it is to read library books without having to go to the library!
What seems dreadful at first glance but turns out to be totally worth enduring?
Sick days: They don’t have to mean drag-me-down-to-the-dregs depressing days. The human body, for all its glory and wisdom, is not invincible. It signals its need to repair. I could pretend to be functional or I could surrender to the bug, sip wellness tea while reading awesome women’s memoirs and take restful, recovery naps.
That awkward time when people are strangers: My son is gregarious. Through him, we have met wonderful people who are parents of his friends. It’s easy to forget that friends start out as strangers who become more and more familiar overtime. Some of them are fleeting and casual while others become lifelong friends. Either way, they add joy to our lives.
Transitions: So much of our identity gets wrapped up in what we do, what we call ourselves, how others view us. But sometimes, we stop being one thing, giving way to becoming another. Transition shakes things up and can be a challenging time but it’s such an important bridge between stages. Think of a pregnant woman having all the feelings and worries that a mother has but not being quite a mother yet. Transition may feel like an endurance test but it’s not final. It’s simply a pit stop to a new, reinvented version of ourselves.
Change thrust upon us: Change we initiate is often exciting but change thrust upon us can wound and cause an upheaval. When it’s the latter, it’s difficult at first to see the promise that lies beyond what we can imagine or what we have the grace or will to welcome. But more often than we appreciate, unwelcome change and all its unfamiliarity becomes familiar, its sharp sting turns into a dull ache, until we’re well on our way to healing.
The end of an era: We know that most things have an ending. We also know that most good things — a dream, a great meal, a fun gathering — come to an end eventually. What’s hard to handle is when something good ends prematurely; while we’re still enjoying it. It’s unfortunate when this happens for many reasons: we’re faced with the inevitability of impermanence and our confidence in any sort of a future is shaken. In extreme cases of profound loss, some of us might even be tempted to withdraw from people, avoid events and stop trying new things as a cautionary measure. It’s all understandable as a reaction, but as a way of life, it’s a waste of precious time — and one that doesn’t come without an expiration date. The end of an era can be impossibly painful to endure, but it also signals a beginning, whether or not we can fathom what it will look like, what it can become or what it will bring us.
I still can’t stand being sick but it’s good to know that sick days were created for a reason.
Is there something potentially good that you may be resisting? If so, why? Is it not worth enduring? If not, why not?
Is there anything you embrace now that you once resisted? If there is, what compels you to embrace it?