The week after Christmas, before New Years Day, is typically a week of recovery and reflection. I have a lot to reflect upon this year. Stuff I don’t really want to reflect upon. I’m also battling a wee case of pneumonia (complete with ear infection–huzzah!) to make it really spectacular. I pushed myself through all the beautiful chaos in the house, the coughing, the exhaustion, the joy and the sorrow. I didn’t have much time to think. I suspect that was partially what my family had in mind all along. How I adore them.
Monday, I finally went to the doctor because I promised my kids I would. I knew I was fine, so much better, in fact. What a waste of time, right? Wrong, kind of. I had pneumonia, but it was clearing on its own. I also have the beginnings of an ear infection. The doctor said she wouldn’t force the issue of antibiotics, since my body was fighting it off on its own, but strongly urged me take them, as I’d been coughing for three weeks. Yeah, I know. No need to torture me with that.
I’m left feeling pretty exhausted, and a little foolish. Instead of pushing myself through the holiday, I could have actually enjoyed it without the constant haze of coughing and the headache all that hacking caused. Reflecting on it now, I think maybe it wasn’t just me being stubborn. I think it might have been something along the lines of distraction.
And maybe a little punishment.
The distraction part is pretty obvious. The punishment part is only something that occurred to me after seeing the doctor. I’m not an idiot. I knew I had more than a cold. What a grand job I did of fooling myself otherwise, and why? Because who am I to enjoy the holiday, this year of all years? My throat closes up writing this. I’m fighting back the tears. How does an otherwise intelligent, introspective, intuitive woman do this to herself? Here I learn another lesson–the mind is far more tricksy and powerful than anyone suspects. It’s like there are a whole lot of “others” in there, with their own agendas, playing their parts independent of the rest. Sometimes, it takes a while to get into a collective mindset, to see the big picture, and the harm being caused by a part not cooperating with the others. And here I learn, too, how incomprehensible my son’s mental pain truly was. How at odds he was with himself. I understand how an intelligent, introspective, intuitive person can make the wrong choice, knowing it’s the wrong choice, and not truly considering the consequences that independently-acting player doesn’t want to know about.