I’m just getting over a rather nasty bout of the flu. It was a horrendous experience but one that also taught me a lot.
Lesson one: I had no idea what having the flu actually entailed. One of my pet peeves is when people have a bad cold and say “I’m dying of the flu”. I’ve always known that the cold virus and the influenza virus were totally different creatures. But I had no real concept of how different. I remember my GP once telling me how she was the same until the actually got the flu one year. She says that until you find yourself crying because you need to get out of bed to go to the toilet then you really don’t have a clue. She now gets the flu vaccine every year, and I’m going to do the same. Because I really don’t want to ever go through that again. The lingering symptoms I have now, which pale in comparison to how I was last week, are similar to a bad cold. I will never complain about them again! The actual worst of it only lasted four days but it felt like four years. A cold is like burning your finger on the stove while the flu is like falling into the fiery depths of hell. I can see how people can die from it.
Lesson two: I really take for granted how much I do around the house and for my family. And when the chips were down, my husband and kids rose to the challenge of tending for themselves. I really need to stop doing so much for them, especially for the kids. Gradually wean them off their over-reliance on me. Without being too harsh about it as they will still need support from me for most of their lives. I see this as my main 2020 project.
Lesson three: I need to keep up with the self-care. I do think having had a solid two months of self care behind me when I got the flu really helped. I was so burnt out and frazzled before then that without it things would have been so much worse. I need to have reserves in the bank as it were, so that when disaster strikes again I am more able to cope with it.
I think the three lessons are really one big lesson. To look after myself more. Self-care. Which seems is going to be the theme of 2020 for me.