As always you start the year with plans and as always those plans go quickly astray. This time the universe mocks your determination to live well with the kind of neck-aching, head-banging sniffly flu it usually reserves for those who truly deserve it in all its snotty-nosed glory. You do not deserve it and neither does your little one, still bruised and unable to swallow after the bashing that was a general anaesthetic. You are in fact quite outraged by the whole caboodle. `You want to take issue with the universe. To stand up for yourself and pick the kind of fight you reckon your universe has had coming for a while now, but in the end you haven't got the energy and instead you do as you Mum tells you too and give in to it. You stop trying to control all that will not be controlled and instead sit in the maelstrom and let it do it's worst.
It's worst smells like eucalyptus and tastes like miso soup sipped slowly out of a green cup the size of your face. It's worst has you slicing your little finger with a bread knife and rubbing lavender oil into your temples, watching Mr Stink, herding your son's Fathers' relentless recommendations for bettering yourself and drinking a glass of red wine with your Daddy. It's worst is warm and relaxed, snotty and hazy. It's worst is one Wednesday lost in a lifetime of others, one day spent with your son, still just little enough to curl up on your knee and suffer through his own misery in his Mummy's arms...
Now it is nine o'clock and there is just you and a book left in the living room. The house so quiet you can hear the clock on the mantle-piece ticking. You have rubbed Vic's into the soles of your feet because you are quite mad and placed an Ocado order for all manner of teeny luxuries like cucumber water and edible dried lavender flowers you plan to crush into a sorbet.
This then is what you do when you are sick: indulge yourself with puttery, lovely supermarket treats and seek refuge in reading a particular kind of light fluffy nonsense. Having exhausted Agatha Raisin and grown tired of Hamish Macbeth tonight you are starting what looks to be a rather rewarding relationship with Isabel Dalhousie. Upstairs frankincense incense is burning in your bedroom, a window blowing a little fresh air into the room so in the deep, dark depths of the night you will think yourself suffocated by your own breath.
Written down now you cannot help but think that the universe is playing games with you: that there are too many blessings in that which you want to scold it for. That five days in cabin fever may just have sent you a little stir crazy but that this too is something to be grateful for- that there is a reason why those who are wiser than you are always reminding you to list all that is good in your life as a means of noticing.
Some days noticing is so very, very difficult but writing, as always comes easy. May you always know what a gift it is.