Skip to main content

In Good Health

When I was in college I was employed by a woman in her sixties who owned a clothing boutique. The job was decent but I quickly knew I was not destined for a life in retail. I grew weary of her requests for me to provide exceptional customer service, to arrive promptly and to work more than 4 hours a week. I was just too busy and too stressed with my hectic college life to concern myself with this woman's store and her need for me to be a good employee. As is often the case with young adults, it was hard for me to relate to anyone who was not going through the exact same thing at the exact same time as me. I wasn't able to look into the future beyond the end of the semester and the papers and readings required of me before that time. Therefore, I didn't have a care to concern myself with the woman's attempts to mentor me through becoming the best saleswoman I could be or the best person I could be.

When I wasn't helping a customer, the woman and I would occasionally talk about life and I would generally complain about how hard and dismal mine was and how I wasn't sure I'd ever make it to the end of the semester let alone survive the first year after graduation. All the cards were stacked against me in this favor less, cruel, cruel world. Outwardly, she didn't have much advice for me, although I'm sure she was saying many things in her head. One time, she simply said to me, "Well, do you have your health? Because everything is going to be fine as long as you are in good health."

At the time I thought this was worthless advice. I was way to busy to worry about my health. Between then and official adulthood, as some of you readers know, I developed hypochondria and my ex-boss's words ring true all too often. There's just something truly wonderful about waking up every morning feeling strong and healthy and being able to accomplish all the things I need and want to do. Unless we've had a health scare, we all generally take this for granted, that is until we get sick.

It doesn't take a life-and-death scare to value your health. All it takes is a 24-hour, or more, period of time when we have some type of condition where we develop healthy body memory loss. Whether you are vomiting, sitting on the toilet for hours, feverishly delirious, sneezing, coughing or itching, you are 100 % unable to recall what it feels like not to feel however you do in that current moment. You know with this type of illness, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, but similar to the college doldrums, you just can't see your way out of the darkness. You can only crawl slowly, with your head down, hoping you are moving in the right direction. I suppose it is our body's way of quickly handling the situation and cleansing yourself of the particular ailment.

I'm embarrassed now to look back at my younger self who was so thoroughly absorbed in sweating the small stuff that I didn't realize that life is all about the small stuff. Every little sicknesses I've had during the past three years makes every healthy day that much better While I'm not pleased to pick up every cold, cough and stomach bug that comes my way, I'm thrilled to still be a strong, healthy person whose ailments are anything but chronic. I do have my health and it is all that matters. Not worrying about our health is what allows us to stress out about papers and readings and housework and what to eat for dinner, everything that makes life just fine.

I now see beyond the end of the semester. I am able to offer great customer service, accept constructive criticism from an employer and offer more than 4 hours of my time each week to work. I'm sure the clothing boutique owner would be happy to re-hire me. I just hope she wouldn't mind the number of times I have to call in sick while my child-rearing/caring body builds back its immunity against every gross, toddler germ it comes in contact with.


Popular posts from this blog

Me V. Parental Judgement

When you are pregnant, there’s so much to think about when considering the future: what color to paint the nursery, what decorating scheme to select from Pottery Barn, whether to go with disposable or reusable diapers, what to name your little nugget, and even deciding to use a cake or a box of balloons for the gender reveal party. You quickly learn that, if you share any of these decisions with anyone, you are bound to get opinions- lots of them. And, while this isn’t the first time we get solicited or unsolicited advice (where to go to college, what to choose as a major, what profession to pursue, who to date, who to marry, what dress to wear to the wedding, who to invite to the wedding, what type of alcohol to serve at the wedding..) the birth of a child seems like the first time that SO MANY opinions are given. It’s already a time of anxiety and unknowns that the opinions of others can easily feel overwhelming.What, I should have gotten the rocker that swings from side to side ins…

It's Complicated. It Doesn't Have To Be.

I was preparing dinner the other night. I still had my coat on and I was balancing a cat dish in one hand and a frozen pot pie in the other when Charlotte came into the kitchen. She had been in her room changing into her pj's. She pranced into the kitchen wearing only her favoritest undies- with the words SUNDAY emblazoned on the rump. She called out my name and I distractedly and tiredly looked in her direction, making eye contact. "Mom," she asked me, grabbing the soft, doughy skin above her waistband, "am I fat?" I dropped to my mental knees. I barely knew what night it was, I actually couldn't have told you in that moment what town Andy was working in on that particular evening, and all I wanted to do was take my bra off and her question stopped me in my tracks. I looked at her again, really taking in her body. Her beautiful, perfect body. I have loved her body during every stage of growth- from a chubby baby legs and round bottom to the freckle on her…

The Bubble Thought

Earlier this week, my sister-in-law posted one of her drawings on Facebook. The drawing depicted an image of a mother hugging her child before the child gets on the bus for the first day of the school year. As the mother hugs her child, there’s a thought bubble above her with an image of a gun. To accompany the drawing, my sister-in-law shared that this was her thought, which popped into her mind as her own child departed for school to begin a new academic year. I have no doubt that her post will be shared time again by parents around this country as we all send our children off to school to be educated. In addition to the normal fear that a parent has for their school-age school, like their academic achievement, development of meaningful friendships, and overall happiness and health, now parents have to worry about their safety while in school. We presently live in a climate where schools are hiring guardians who are retired police officers and members of the military whose sole purp…