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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Down and Out

I've been plowed under this week with a bad cough, severe sinus congestion, fatigue and a general overall sense of feeling lousy. It all came on Tuesday evening and it's now Saturday afternoon and I'm still pretty sub-par. It is discouraging because for once I actually submitted to being ill and made a conscious decision to stay in bed all day Wednesday and Thursday, canceling appointments and moving other commitments around. By Friday I had to get up and address a couple of things and in so doing found myself exhausted and feeling worse than ever by the early afternoon. I haven't felt this lousy for such an extended period of time for a long time. I don't think it's the swine flu as I have not had a fever but whatever it is, it's unpleasant.
We have a big event at church tonight, A Festival of Cultures, that we've been planning for for quite some time. We've asked people to bring a dish from their native land and to also wear clothing that reflects that culture. Our church potlucks are not your ordinary potlucks. We enjoy restaurant quality food that reflects the amazing palette the world's flavors have to offer. Sadly, because I've been down all week I haven't had any energy to think about table decorations or extra touches. The clothing and the food will speak for itself, but it's amazing how narrow your world becomes when you have no energy. I was glad I got to the store to get plates, cutlery, and cups.
Additionally I feel bad because Doug ends up having to take care of Tanner by himself. I've tried to take Tanner out first thing in the morning because that's the one outing that Doug really hates, but I have not had the strength to think about taking him on his long walk. Doug does the long walk more than I do but sometimes it's nice to get a break from it. This week he has had no choice. I just can't sustain the energy.
Today I am devoted to resting until 5.00 p.m. when I need to go over to church to get set up for tonight. I may have to miss some of the program that follows the dinner, assessing my energy level. I was able to get my sermon completed but I need my voice to hold up through two services tomorrow.
One irony is that my sermon tomorrow is on being healthy in a physical way. We are doing a sermon series right now on Vital Signs for living looking at our schedules, our bodies, our finances and our spiritual life. It's been rather interesting to ponder how being vibrant and healthy really helps us to serve God in a much better manner while being confined to my bed. One's vigor for life definitely diminishes when you don't feel good.
I suppose the only positive thing to come out of this little hiatus is that it has shown me that slowing down can happen without ruining your life. I had a whole list of things to do this week and almost none of them happened. The world did not end and catastrophe has not ensued. Tonight's dinner and program will be wonderful even if the dinner part will be more simple than I had hoped. I will likely be exhausted after church tomorrow but I did take lots of time to think about my sermon and consider what I'd like to say. It has given me some perspective on taking an intentional "sick" day once in slow things down, to ponder what it means to be less active, to lie quietly in bed with the simple purpose of resting.
For now, I am looking forward to greater health. And I am committed to figuring out ways to live more healthfully...better eating, more exercise, more balance, etc. We'll see if I return to my less structured ways once I feel good again. But at least this week away from the normal rhythm of life has shown me how much I value being able to have a rhythm.