Cold War Musings

20130123-130000.jpg I’ve been fighting a nasty cold since Saturday. It’s the kind of cold that little kids get, wet and croupy, the kind of cold that inspires parents to break out the vaporizer and the mentholated chest rub. In this adult version, the weapons on my side include several boxes of extra soft tissues, Mucinex, the Chinese herb Yin Chiao, homeopathic ColdCalm, and a witches brew of ginger, chamomile and echinacea tea. On the cold’s side are tens of thousands of years of co-evolution with homo sapiens that maximizes the rhinovirus’ capacity to use my lungs and sinuses to reproduce. Guess who is coming out ahead.

Unlike the virus donor who left this particular gift on some surface for me to find, I stayed home this week. I reneged on attending my harp lesson, my yoga class, playing at Hospice and both ensemble classes. Canceling so many activities brought me face-to-face with my overdeveloped sense of responsibility to show up when and where I said I would. In this over-responsible world view, I am letting people down if I don’t show up. I am disrupting my harp teacher’s schedule, disrespecting my yoga teacher, not fulfilling my commitment as a Hospice volunteer, and not pulling my weight with the ensembles. In this world view, it is likely that the earth’s rotation will grind to a halt if I stay home.

I retired over two years ago. I know that in my current life, there are no real, tangible consequences for not showing up. There’s no meetings with disgruntled bosses or bad performance reviews because I am absent. My time is mine to claim, mine to use.

This week, as I made calls and sent e-mails telling people I was sick and staying home, I felt that sense of freedom for the first time. I don’t HAVE to do any of the things that fill my week. I do them because I want to. All of my activities are choices, all are things I do because I enjoy them, because they make my life rich and full. My harp lesson, my yoga class, all my activities are important to me, but not as important as ridding myself of this viral invasion. And I know that the most significant thing I can do to get well is to rest, is to reduce the drain on my energy reserves as much as possible so that my body can vanquish the virus. So home is the place to be, and the place to stay.

On a completely different note, sometime during the past week, one more reader signed up to receive e-mails when I publish a blog post. I passed a milestone I never anticipated – there are now 100 subscribers to Heart To Harp. I still remember telling my harp teacher that no one would be interested in anything I wrote about learning to play the harp. She said I was wrong, and you proved her right. Thank you! Thanks for reading, thanks for commenting, thanks for subscribing, and thanks for being part of the journey.


22 thoughts on “Cold War Musings

  1. I too had a visit from this latest round of “colds” ! It is wise and thoughtful to take the time to recover. I love your Blog and your personal writing style. Thank you for sharing your life with your fellow harpers. You are an inspiration!! Take care with yourself.


  2. I hope that You are now better! I retired in 2004 and I am still active and “alive”. My hobbies make my days nowadays, although when working one of my hobbies gave me a new profession.


  3. What a beautiful quilt/back drop for “the cure”! One could make a case for the shapes and colors being a perfect parallel for the journey and all of its parts. Congratulations on choosing wellness over the dictates of one of the worst parts of southern culture and rearing!
    It is a privilege to be one of the hundred. Congratulations !!


  4. I’m battling a nasty cold, too. So far, I’ve missed two days of work, (both day job and writing). I hope we both get well soon.

    Congrats on reaching 100 followers! That is fantastic!


  5. Hey Janet: take care my friend…partake of the magical chicken soup and think happy thoughts until you get better. Congratulations on the 100th follower. You are well worth following and I’m so glad I found you.


  6. I am on the two week downside of a similar virus…coughing, etc. It’s a bad one. I’ve heard 18 days is the usual course. My harp teacher caught it too. But like you it was nice to be able to just press the pause button and take time to heal. Don’t forget laughter is the best medicine…I got caught up on lots of the Ellen Show. (although laughing hard made me cough). Get well soon, Janet. Congrats on your blog…I am so glad you started one too!


    1. I like the idea of “pressing the pause button.” That’s a much gentler way of thinking about not showing up for all my stuff. I hope you will be feeling better soon, as well. I had an acupuncture treatment yesterday that really helped. I got my hands on my harp today for the first time in a week! Thanks for being one of my constant readers and supporters, Nanci!


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