The Flu Or A Vacation?

“I’m so tired. I’m so tired,” I moaned, my headlights illuminating the suburban holiday decorations on our drive home. It was after nine pm on a school night.

“Tired? Mom, why are you so tired? What have you even done today for you to be tired?” my teenage son asked from the back seat of the car. Normally this would insult me, but I was too tired to care. I sighed.

In the house, out of my cozy car, I realized I was freezing. Like, abnormally freezing. Ugh. Why was I so tired and cold? It finally occurred to me that I might be–wait for it–sick. I shivered my way to the thermometer which revealed that I had a fever of 101.2.

“I’m sick! Fever of 101.2!” I called to the people milling around in my kitchen (a.k.a. my family) from the stairs. “I’m going to bed now!”

Within 12 hours, my fever went up and I went down for the proverbial count. After subjecting myself to a brain swab through the nose–though the doctor just called it the “flu swab”–I learned that my ailment was indeed the flu.

Back home, I lay uncomfortable, feverish, achy, and miserable in my bed. My husband and kids looked in on me, but demanded nothing. In my haze, I lost track of everything that I normally keep track of. It was the first time in a long time that I was not “on.” Who needed to be where, at what time, needing what materials, with whom, homework, after school, blah blah, whatever. None of that was on my radar. All responsibilities were completely off my plate. It was as if I were on an amazing vacation! (Except: the flu.)

The fact that being sick with the flu compared to a vacation just made me realize how much sits on my shoulders. But you know what? The world didn’t stop turning. Everyone stepped up to their own responsibilities and nobody died. Including me. Now it’s time to get back to the holidays. My Christmas cards are going to be delayed, but eventually they’ll still get out and if they’re late, I’ve made peace with it. My son accused me of “sending the flu to everyone we know” via Christmas cards. But I promise my hands were clean!

Wishing you wellness this holiday season. Happy holidays and Merry Christmas!

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