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Not Guilty as Charged -Rethinking Rest When Sick

When my oldest son was a little guy, lots of years ago, we were on our way home one day. He kept saying, "Mom, I feel guilty." Right after we got home, it turned out he was actually feeling sick because he suddenly tossed his cookies everywhere.

I think, but never knew for sure, that he equated feeling 'guilty' with feeling sick. I'm not really sure where this thinking came from, but it seemed, in his young mind, being guilty was like having a stomachache. Ironically, this kind of makes sense. Sometimes, when we get sick, we feel bad about it, as though it is somehow our fault. My son's innocent confusion between feeling physically ill and the feeling of guilt highlights a deeper concept about how we often internalize our illnesses.

So, I got sick. Totally not the end of the world, but definitely a wrench in my usual plan. Here’s what this whole episode taught me about taking it easy - even though it was hard to do:

1. Time Out Isn’t Just for KidsYou have to hit pause when you are sick. The world doesn’t stop, but sometimes you have to. It’s not about being lazy; it’s about not making yourself sicker. One of the things I am learning: sometimes, doing nothing is doing something.

2. Rethinking BusyI always thought being busy was the same as being productive. Well, not when you’re sick. Getting better should be at the top of your to-do list. It’s not about getting stuff done; it’s about getting better so you can do stuff later.

3. Not GUILTY!

Feeling bad about being sick is like being mad at the weather, which anyone who knows me, knows that sometimes I get mad at the weather and it’s pointless! I think when we're sick, it can be easy to feel guilty for not being more active or productive. Yet, when you take a peek deep inside, you realize that your body is engaged in a war fighting off ugly little bugs determined to take over your cells. Resting your body needs time to figure out how to fight effectively. It definitely changes your perspective. I will continue to practice quitting the guilt trip and just focus on getting better.

4. Patience doesn’t come easy and it’s necessary. I am not good at the whole 'patience' thing. Being sick, though, there isn’t much choice. It’s a little bit of a waiting game! Bothersome, but true. Waiting it out is part of the deal. You learn to take it day by day, and eventually, you're back to your old self.

It’s true being sick is no fun but everyone gets sick. It's not a weakness; it's just part of being human. You learn a few things about slowing down, taking care of yourself, and maybe even about letting others take care of you. So next time you're feeling under the weather, give yourself a break. You'll get back to conquering the world soon enough, but for now, just focus on getting better.

Here my recipe for Chicken and Rice Soup that Scott made me while I was sick! Enjoy!

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