Rev. Nancy's Blog

Benefits of Having a Cold

tissue boxSniffle, snorf, cough. Thought I’d pass through winter without the dreaded nose invasion. Not to be. Surrounded by sniffling companions, I fall to the lure of the tissues box.

With no energy to speak of, I’m left to contemplate life and other assorted things, like breathing. Inhaling, air does not pass easily through the stuffy nose. Breathing moves from being an automatic thing the body does on its own, to the conscious effort of drawing in breath and then releasing it, hopefully without a spasm of coughing.

Moving from one place to another, formerly an assumed ability, becomes a dedicated effort.

Sleep – needed, elusive.

The downsides can make the journey arduous.

There are upsides. Really? Yes, really.

The dog, determined to have her walk, takes me to the park. There, I lie on the soft grass while she does a sniff-inspection of the surrounding area. It feels good to lie there, just being. Back to the earth, head cushioned by my jacket, I watch clouds form and reshape, going about the business of being clouds. Birds fly through my field of vision. When the sky empties, I look far into it and part of me takes flight, falling into the depths of blue infinity.

Home again, a nap. Tea grows cold on the side table while I, bundled in a fuzzy blanket, sink into the quiet of delicious solitude. I don’t even mind when the sound of my own snoring wakes me. Comfort. Luxury.

A phone call, a meeting, an event invitation. When operating on all cylinders I’d go, through desire or perhaps obligation. Now, I say thank you, but no.

It is okay to say no. It’s part of self care. And part of caring for others, for this is a gift it’s best not to share.

And that is perhaps the biggest benefit of the nose invasion – permission to honor what my body wants and needs, to let other things go, to let myself heal. Care for the self takes time and commitment. It’s so easy to put yourself last. But when the nose invasion occurs, it’s a not-so-polite request, no, it’s a demand, to take care of the self.