Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Deep Freeze

February is about to draw to a close. It has been a month of extreme cold warnings here in Toronto. And while winter is my second favourite season behind autumn, I am eager for spring to send winter packing. Maybe that’s because of how difficult the past ten days have been. Ten days ago I was tackled by one of the most debilitating migraine episodes I’ve ever experience, and immediately sidelined. I was unable to do any of the things that I loved to do. I suffered in agony for three days, hoping the pain would pass, before dragging myself to my doctor’s office. Tylenol 2 became my best friend, and thankfully (almost instantly) the pain began to ebb. Just as relief from the migraines appeared, another health issue presented itself that required another strong medication. I found myself, in so many ways, in a deep freeze.

That deep freeze was the multiple ailments taking aim at my body. I say “multiple” because each medication had side effects that eagerly waged another war on my body. A deep freeze, yes, because I was so exhausted from the pain, the sleepless nights, the lack of energy, that I couldn’t do anything. And, perhaps, rightly so. Writing my Morning Pages became a chore, and not the morning task I usually enjoyed, that took hours to accomplish. My other writing projects ground to a halt. I was no longer running or going to the gym. Stretched out on the sofa with blankets covering almost every inch of my body, I looked longingly at my writing desk and the projects spread out over it and chastised myself for not working as the pain throbbed from my temple and down through my jaw line. I was grumpy because my creativity had been stymied by an unwanted illness. I had been forced to rest.

As I write this afternoon from my kitchen table, I am glad to be inside. I’m beginning to thaw out, escape the deep freeze’s grip on me (despite it being -10°C / 14°F outside). While I’m not 100% better, I am slowly getting back to work. That feels good. The last ten days, although physically uncomfortable, reminded me of the importance of rest. It seems like I’m always pushing myself harder and harder until my body decides to push back and say, “No more!” It’s the stubbornness of dreams that drives me, and I find myself wanting to speed up (not slow down) even when I’m sick.

Held in a deep freeze, I became more appreciative of my health and, despite this short period of illness, grateful for my overall good health. I remain grateful, too, for my dreams and my courage to move confidently in their direction. In this life, even when I’m feeling under the weather, I still have the urge to heed the call, to do what it is that I feel compelled to do. That is the beauty of this world.

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