I've had a cold for the past few days. Not a really bad one. Just some runny nose, a bit of a headache and a touch of bronchitis.
It's surprising me, how this feels. My darling mother-in-law used to say, when she was feeling tired, "My get-up-and-go done got up and went". Horrible grammar, I know, but that's how this cold feels to me. It puts kind of a thick grey blanket over my usual energetic enthusiasm for life.
I was thinking about this yesterday. I notice that use of words in talking to myself: energetic, enthusiasm. Whoa, I thought, I'm using those words to describe my usual life. When did that happen? I thought my normal was when most of regular life seemed grey, and the only brightly-colored moments came when drinking wine. When I didn't feel really normal until I had the first glass or two of wine in me.
But, yes, this has changed. No wine is becoming my new normal, and has brought with it all sorts of energy for standard everyday life. I'm beginning to see the glory in a pink sunrise, to appreciate the dazzling beauty of the daffodils. I'm beginning to think creatively about the next phase of my life, as sweet husband and I approach the age of starting to think about retirement.
Even with a cold, without alcohol, I can stay in the moment now. I can acknowledge that this cold has sapped some of my usual energy. But instead of using alcohol to avoid even feeling this grey-ness, I can feel it. Feel the greyness. I can treat myself kindly: have a nice bath, dear. Let's get into bed early this evening, sweetie. These house projects you were planning to tackle? Let them wait til next week, when your energy levels will be back to normal.
Who knew that even having a cold could be a teacher about embracing my feelings and treating myself kindly? That it could be a teacher about appreciating my usual enthusiasm and energy? That it could teach me that even the not-so-fabulous times are do-able without wine- without falling into deep terror or sadness or other emotion I imagine I couldn't 'handle'.
It's all a grand adventure!