The (un)common cold

I had won so many battles that I thought perhaps I had won the war.
What a foolish thought that I, a mere mortal, had. That beast of a common cold will always win out eventually. And so, I find myself once again loosing the fight against sniffles, coughs and sympathetic glances.

And because I am stubborn and its a crazy week at work, I am going into the office. That means, I need to be productive while my body just wants to be in bed watching a movie. I had this grand thought that I can at least watch some critically-acclaimed movies while sick, but if I try to wrap my head around some complex plot, I think my sinuses will burst from my head trying to think too much.

So instead, I am trying to ‘just be.’

We live in such a high maintenance world that just ‘being’ is a rather scary idea. Every minute of every day can be filled with something. From the moment we wake up to the radio to the movie playing softly in the background till we fall asleep, our life is completely full. Well, if we choose to believe that is a ‘full’ life.

But when you are sick, your body forces you to lay it all down, including itself.

I realized that me being sick means I can get down to brass tacks and prioritize. I need to eat today. Check. Hydration, yes, good. I need to get some work done. All right, don’t overdo it. Ok, now go home. What needs to be done? Right, laundry and call that person. Done? Perfect. Now, go rest. And maybe coming home will just means collapsing and sleeping. Maybe you didn’t go to work. But being sick strips you down to that bare minimum, which is terribly humbling and vulnerable and super necessary. We are flawed beings. We need help, we need to give ourselves time to rest. We have to allow ourselves time to realize we can’t do everything and to remove what is unnecessary from our lives. And, when we are back to our healthy selves, maybe we should leave aside some of the unnecessary things we were doing and try to live a life full of what really matters, which will differ from each person, but typically looks like a contributing member of the world, at least in some way.

So, despite my body turning against me, at least I have an excuse and a reason to ‘just be’ and to remember what that is like and what is really important.He c

Because hopes and dreams don’t need wishing stars…

I have been wishful of late. And that means I haven’t gotten anything done. I went to Wikipedia to ask, from the bowels of its knowledge, what wishful thinking actually meant and it gave me this nugget: it is thinking that is “….pleasing to imagine instead of…appealing to evidence, rationality, or reality.”  You’ve seen this scene in a movie a hundred times: the character stares out the window, at other people, at life itself and thinks about how life could be and doesn’t do anything about it. Why? In my opinion and experience, doing things is hard. Putting yourself on the line, taking chances, setting the groundwork for something, practicing and perfecting-it is just not easy work. It is so much simpler to do your daily thing, get by, and dream about when life will just hand you the things you want-in fact, why don’t you just hand me my dream while I sit on bed watching Netflix? Yup, that would be great, thanks.
Sound familiar? I hope not, although it might. I have been living with wishful thinking as my constant companion for years. And guess what? No one offers you anything while watching movies on Netflix. In fact, the only thing it offers you is love handles and wear and tear on your mattress. I don’t think these create opportunities or fulfillment in life.
As I try to shake myself out of wishful thinking into more proactive doing, I realized that I didn’t want loose the dreaming and wondering part of my life. I can’t think of anything more depressing than a life devoid of dreaming. I honestly don’t think anyone would get anything done if they didn’t dream it first. If their heart wasn’t filled with a desire, a hope to be fulfilled, why would they do anything?
Hope. Hope is a very different friend than wishful thinking. Wishful thinking won’t pull you out of your slump, dust you off, and send you out into the world with renewed vigor. Hope will. Hope will cheer you on, give a you a pep talk, and see you through dark times into greatness. Hope uses reality as a basis for dreams. And if reality is part of your hopes and dreams, there is no reason why you can’t fulfill them. They are doable, they are reachable, they are in your grasp. Yes, it will take effort, but the finish line is ahead of you. You can’t see the finish line with wishful thinking, but you can with hope. You can run the race, and even if you don’t finish first or ever finish, the line is a reality, a goal that you set that could be attainted. Hope gives you clear eyes and willing muscles for the race ahead, wishful thinking clouds your vision and locks your knees so you can’t even begin the race. 

Stop wishing, start hoping. Then do.