Tuesday, December 01, 2009

one-day remedy

So, my one-day recovery plan didn't work. I have been fighting (everything short of screaming and kicking) this silly cold for almost 9 days now. It is a vicious bugger of a virus and won't give up its warm and cozy host easily. I had a pretty busy week with classes, assignments, dinner parties, and a day of fun activities with Dean on his day off. By Friday night, or rather, Saturday morning at 2:00 am, I was feeling pretty bad. I decided to take Saturday and do a one-day recovery. Sleep in. Not exert myself. Sit on the couch and rest. Maybe read a bit. Drink lots of liquids. Avoid sugar and milk products (which are Mr. Phlegms' favourites). Take a nap. Give my body everything it needed to kick the virus.

It was a good day. I got plenty of rest. I didn't leave the house. I drank plenty of tea. It should have been enough to get everything back to normal, or so I thought. I had high expectations for the next day. I was up at 8:00 am on Sunday morning to go to a visiting church where Dean was playing drums. It was a long service and lots of people wanted to chat and then there was packing up the gear and well, we got home around 2:00 pm. I was hungry and tired and coughing and not feeling great at all. A brief nap and we were back to Reggie's Bar for our 6:00 pm regular church group meeting, out for dinner later, and home by 11:30 p.m. We just have a lot going on right now.

I am happy to report that I have felt stronger for the past two days, thought I still have coughing bouts morning and evening and my head is a bit stuffy. I wished my one-day recovery plan had worked. It was a great idea, really: to cram all my efforts for wellness into one dedicated day. To make my health a priority for a whole 24 hours or so. I don't understand why my body didn't respond better. And then again, maybe I do.

This long-term thing we call health, well-being, or strength and vitality does not respond well to instant or short-term remedies. It requires continuous care and vigilance. It can never drop off the priority list. One day of concentrated effort does not eradicate a disease or produce complete healing. One magic pill or well-intended action does not change the course of an entire circular system. It was never meant to work that way.

Unfortunately, I have also tried to practice the one-day remedy in other areas of my life. If I spend a few hours at a bible study or at a church meeting, that should fix my spiritual life for the week, right? I don't need to connect with God all the time. I got too much other stuff going on. If there is a misunderstanding with a friend, a conversation over dinner should send the message that everything is okay, right? I don't have to get to the root of what caused the misunderstanding in the first place and make the effort to change how I communicate and interact with others, do I? It just gets too time-consuming and draining. Right? Wrong.

If I want a strong and healthy body, I need to eat right, rest well, exercise regularly, and avoid behaviour that is detrimental to my health. I need to do this every day. If I take a break from this, there are long-term repercussions. I will have veered off the road of health and started down the road of my body breaking down.

Anything important in my life, anything that I place any value on and say that I prioritise in my life cannot be fixed or even maintained by a one-day remedy plan. Careful attention to it needs to become part of my natural regiment for living. It must become part of life itself, like breathing and eating and drinking and eliminating and sleeping. It is meant to be the fullness and substance of my life, not simply an interruption to everything else that I have going on.

Every day is remedy day. I choose today whether I contribute to my long-term physical, spiritual, emotional, and relational health and growth. I can't play catch-up with any of these areas. If I am not nurturing them, they are getting sick. And I hate being sick. I really hate being sick.

This is a picture of a pharmacy in Stratford-upon-Avon in England.

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