Friday, March 12, 2010
Today I can finally breathe again, after a bout with pneumonia. I am on day three of antibiotics and day eight of being cooped up in the apartment. No more fever, and I can finally feel little stirrings of energy and determination and hope.
I have not enjoyed good health this winter, and the reason is stress.
Stress is such a 21st century word, so businesslike and modern. Sibilant as a sigh -- which is very misleading. It should be a long, garbled string of hard consonants, in my opinion, something better befitting its monstrous and deadly nature.
It makes us ill, but that can be a blessing in disguise. I had eight days of forced solitude and inactivity -- a little time out. There was nothing to do but feel terrible, rally the energy to take showers, make glasses of juice and take medicine --- and notice what my life has become.
I don't like what my life has become.
At this point, you probably want me to explain myself. Let me just summarize by saying that it become filled to overflowing with things that are not life-affirming.
One of them, unfortunately, is graduate school. A mistake, a miscalculation, a black hole for everything that matters in my life, it eats all my time and energy and gives absolutely nothing in return. It leaves me with no time to earn a living, no energy for my family, and no inclination for seeking happiness and love.
Yet, I'm only two months away from graduating, so I have to see it through. I have to look at what remains of it and try to get it done. In May when I graduate, will I celebrate it as an accomplishment? I just don't know.
Another thing that has taken more than its fair share of my life force lately is the love I have been completely wasting. All the humiliating events of the last few months haven't shaken me out of it, but spending several days alone sick finally did.
I realize that our real friends and loved ones are the people who check on us when we are ill. The rest are just people we know.
So now that the antibiotics have begun to kick in and I am looking at resuming my life, I want to live it in a way that will keep me healthy. I won't be pouring my precious life energy into anything that doesn't enrich me or my family or the world.
I started this post thinking it was going to be an extended metaphor about pruning the dead or life-draining parts away, something I have posted about before here at the Bitten Apple. I searched the archives for that post and, to my surprise, I discovered it was written almost exactly a year ago, March 18, 2009.
So maybe this is something that just happens to me in the March, like spring cleaning.