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I Got A Big Mouth

Tag: health

The Absence of Disease

This was a rough weekend for me because the cough which reared its head about fifteen days ago mutated into a full-blown fever complete with sore back, loss of appetite, and bizarre nightmares.  I tried to sweat it out.  I fought it with Theraflu and Advil.  In the end, I brought it down with a combination of chicken soup and two Aspirin.  I can’t tell if this was the elixir I needed, or if the thing had just run its course.  Regardless, I have always thought of Aspirin as kind of a wonderdrug, and that’s just been reinforced.

So what have I learned?  What was the overall effect of being sick for the bulk of a holiday weekend?

  1. Surround yourself with loved ones when you’re ill.  My fiancee was so helpful and generous during this sickness.  That soup never would’ve made it to my bedside without her.  She understood when I wanted to stay home on Saturday, and then she understood again when I dragged her out on Sunday only to ask her to take me home.  She fussed over me.  She didn’t mind that I hadn’t cleaned the apartment since Monday (I can blame the fatigue, but the truth is I just hadn’t cleaned).  She was my hero.  I’m sitting upright and typing today because she sacrificed her weekend just as much as I did.
  2. Sometimes when life hands you a holiday weekend, you should capitalize on it by just doing nothing.  Granted, that was an easy choice for me to make.  But I’m staring down a long summer of weekends that have already been planned for me.  Shows, weddings, birthdays, trips, and a thousand other Facebook invites are going to make it hard for me to justify laying in bed watching kung fu movies for a little while.  So in a way, I should be thanking the fever.  But, no, still, fuck that fever.  That fever was a dick.
  3. Health is more than the absence of disease.  This morning I woke up and instantly knew this bug was out of me.  And  I was glad because the coughing was hurting my head and chest.  But I was also glad because that meant I could finally do the pile of dishes in my sink and clean the clutter up in my living room.  It’s hard to call yourself healthy when you have to step over things to reach a book or you can’t walk through your kitchen without being reminded of a chore in your future.  I like the lived-in look as much as the next slob, but when you get over a sickness you tend to want full health so it doesn’t happen again.  Right now I want clean rooms and smaller portions.  And about one shit-ton of blue Gatorade.

Now then.  Happy Memorial Day.  Remember vets like my mom and dad today.  And if you’re invited to a barbecue, be thoughtful and bring something.

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This is Important

I want health in my life and I want health in the lives of all the people of my generation.  The people I know live in relative ease and our efforts are toward the ends of comfort and not mere survival.  We are a generation with the opportunity to follow our desires instead of our hunger.  I want health for us because it can be so easy to forget that we are these capable animals, and we deserve to exist with minds and bodies more fit than our ancestors.  In these times of abundance and relative safety it is a shame to squander our days by fattening ourselves and neglecting the sharpness of our wits.

I’m still young so it seems easy to put off health until there’s more time.  This is an illusion.  My addictions to television, to white starch and sugar, to sleep, and to the same songs over and over have taken residence in the part of my brain where better goals should exist.  Instead of keeping up with The Office I should want to compose an epic poem.  Instead of pancake mix and fake syrup I probably should have just had wheat toast and tea.  Instead of relishing this cold in my system as an escape from my regimen of exercise, I should exercise anyway and blow my nose between sets.  These are not unrealistic, obsessive ideals.  They’re the lucid dogma of a human with an interest in improving his life.

I have kept my wits sharp by taking on improvised comedy for the past 8 or so years.  I’ve tried to be a good man and I’m discovering the joys of living a life of true health, which is more than just the absence of disease.  I meditate, though not as much as I’d like, and I try to list my blessings every day.  I only hope I can improve my life each day if only just a small bit.  A fortunate man can afford to rest all the time; a lucky man can rest, and doesn’t.