10 October 2011

a note about phlegm

Look, I'm going to warn you now: if you don't like reading about phlegm, this is not the post for you. Maybe you could try reading about my nerdiness via Downton Abbey if you'd rather not read about my very unladylike behavior I demonstrated along the Prairie Path in Wheaton today.

Last week, I actually took a half a sick day. I say "actually" because it just doesn't happen all that often, this taking of a sick day. I mostly say things to myself like, 'I mean, really, is it that bad? Can you still sit at your desk? Are you still able to focus your eyes? Could your cough be something of a conversation topic in the office because Lord knows we need something to talk about besides work?'

I have, after all, the constitution of a horse {assuming horses are very healthy creatures} and the work ethic of a protestant {because, well, I am one. Oh my, I just realized that when you talk about "protestant work ethic," you're totally insulting the Catholics who, in my experience, do work hard. I should stick with the "puritan work ethic" because I don't know any puritans I could potentially be insulting. And probably when puritans are insulted, they take it as a sign of God's favor. Persecution = favor, you know.}.

So I don't often allow myself sick days, or, as I cheerfully and judgmentally like to call them, weakness days or wussy days.

One of my fall projects, though, is trying to learn how to be kinder to myself.

I'm pretty sure this "fall project" is going to last FOREVER {who can learn to be kinder to themselves in one season?}, which means that it will be eternally autumn for me and doesn't that sound like bliss? To always have crisp nights and visual reminders of change around you at all times?

When I woke up last Tuesday with an "I can't breathe very well" throat, I decided to act on my fall project and take a half-day—after going to work in the morning to keep some projects moving along.

Stop judging my inability to slow down and just let myself be sick. Fall just started a few weeks ago, okay? Yeah, maybe I should've taken a whole day, but let's just let me celebrate the half-day victory. Sheesh. Cut me some slack here, people.

{Maybe being kinder to myself is making me less kind to other people around me. Oh my, I hope that isn't true.}

I was back at work on Wednesday morning in such a perky mood that my boss found it necessary to ask, "Are you this perky at home, too, when it's just you and the pug?"

Of course. Of course I am.

Of course I spent my sick day being perky to my pug. It went like this:

"Miss Daisy!" {said in a sing-song voice}

"It's sweatpants and orange juice time! No, baby, don't look so confused about why I'm home in the middle of the day and why I'm singing to you. Let's just cuddle on the couch and watch Anne of Green Gables, or ooh! We could take a nap!"

Yes, perky.

The truth is I was extra perky on Wednesday because 1) I was feeling guilty about taking a half-day {shut up, puritan work ethic!}, and 2) I was trying to fool my body into thinking it was better. As you may have picked up on, I'm going to Prince Edward Island on vacation this week, and I just had to get better. I did not want to be sick and moaning and being bleary-eyed in pictures at Green Gables.

If ever there was a time to be clear-eyed, it's when visiting a house with gables.

My body may have felt slightly better after its sick day, but I needed to marshal my emotional forces—my perkiness—to start feeling all better.

You're probably thinking—that's silly, Kamiah. You can't force yourself to get better, just by chipperness.

And to that I say: I'm all better now, aren't I?

Granted, this may have something to do with the fact that even when I was sick and clogged up, I went running anyway.

You can chastise me for this {how do you run when you can't breathe?}, but my view is that if you're clogged up with phlegm, there's nothing like a autumn morning run to jostle everything around so that you cough it up. What else was a fall morning made for?

Spitting into a pile of orange-gold leaves just feels right, you know? You feel like a real runner and a little bit like a cowboy or like someone who chews tobacco, which sounds like a terrible idea if you're a runner.

I do try to wait until there's no one else around me on the Prairie Path to do this hawking and spitting and coughing, but today, these two college guys snuck up on me. Probably I couldn't hear them because I was coughing.

I was just turning my head to spit this mouthful of phlegm
this expectoration of sickness
this need to be kind to myself

I was just turning my head to spit when they came flying past.

As I spit, I imagined that they were a little impressed with my distance and general rough-and-tumble girl attitude, spitting on the Prairie Path like that.

But then I realized that they're probably 18, and I maybe shouldn't be so worried about impressing them.

And then I coughed a lot more, which most likely decreased any attractiveness factor I'd built up.

But oh, did I ever feel good, spitting and running on the Prairie Path this morning.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts with Thumbnails