As some of you know, the winter is our big break season in our homeschooling. Hannah and I do as little school work as possible between the end of November and the end of January. Normally, by the time February rolls around, it's time to figure out something to do with ourselves so we don't get cabin fever.
This past winter break it's been full of being sick, which is never any fun. I think I went two entire weeks without leaving the house except to step outside for the milk delivery or to peek my head out the door to check the mail. It's been a long few weeks. And here's the part that I really hate about those kinds of colds. I don't think very much.
I'm a thinker/planner/schemer by nature. I love to plan things and I had all sorts of things plans that I had to just not do because we were all too yuck to get out of the house and enjoy them. So instead, we stayed in and recovered and enjoyed our cozy little house.
But now that I'm starting to feel better, part of me wants to start planning and then I go out into the world and realize that I'm not nearly as well as I thought I was. Meaning things still take a bit more energy and recovery than I expect. Fortunately, right in the middle of my cold, I picked up this book I got Joel for his birthday called, Every Moment Holy. And right there was a litany for a sick day. Granted I'd had lots and I've had a few since then but the litany did such an amazing job of reframing my mindset, yes it's a drag, yes it's snot fun, yes I will get better the Lord willing. And it was a reminder that these little setbacks, even the ones that persist for over a month of coughing and sneezing and dry hacking in the middle of the night can remind us to grasp life and live it for all it's worth. They can remind us to love with our whole hearts because health is actually very fragile and it's never a given in this world.
One of my favorite authors, Tricia Lott Williford, in her book Just. You. Wait. talks about the unexpected death of her first husband. One day, he has a cold that they go into the ER for, they tell him he's fine and to just get some rest and plenty of fluids and literally the next morning he dies in their bed. We never know how long life will be here in this place. And if this simple lingering cold can remind of that for even just a little while, then maybe it's worth it. Maybe the coughing and the missing of planned activities that remind me that life is just a breath can be worth the struggle.