Friday, February 15, 2008

Taking Deep (and Normal) Breaths

Despite my longstanding love for my husband and my newfound infatuation with YouTube, I'll confess to not feeling especially romantic this week--Valentine's Day or no. I attribute my marked lack of enthusiasm for the heart-filled holiday to the Cold Virus From Hell that's plagued me for seven straight days and held me hostage to my Kleenex box and my teapot. And I'm still not over the damn thing.

Once upon a time, a guy I knew informed me that the sucky things in life made sense to him once he finally started approaching each day with the belief that "good health and happiness are meant to be the exceptions, not the rule. That illness and discontent are, actually, the normal state for your average human, and when we feel good physically and emotionally, that's life at its most abnormal..." (Yeah, he was an upbeat guy.)

During this week filled with cough medicine and restless nights, the thought of good health as the anomaly crossed my mind. Several times. Indeed, I contemplated a great many philosophical questions (I was up for hours, after all) including: Is life really just one long, depressing road pockmarked with hazards and with only the occasional smooth patch to give relief?

My conclusion? Not in my universe.

True, I may have been a little high on Sudafed when I made this decision, but I was willing to tolerate this cold, not embrace it as normal. And, while I realize I'm most at home in the realm of "fiction" and that the real world doesn't owe me either good health OR happiness, I'm convinced if I live my life with the optimistic expectation of both--and express my gratitude when they cross my path--I just have to have faith I'll come closer to actually achieving them than if I deem them rarities.

Regardless, breathing freely again makes me happy. Even happier than all the Valentine's Day chocolate I got yesterday...and that's saying something.


L.A. Mitchell said...

I'm so sorry you've been feeling bad. I'm a glass half-full kinda person, too. Some people call it naive. I call it counting your blessings :)

Hope you're back in top fiction-writing form soon. Oh, and the SIT, thing. Wow. Were we sisters in a former life?

Marilyn Brant said...

You know, L.A., I think we may have been!

Thanks for the good wishes :).

Nadine said...

I hear you on the cold/virus/flu from Hell stuff like you have no idea, except in my case I keep blaming Canada as opposed to a malevolent universe.

I read a quote the other day (which I will now proceed to butcher) about writers being people who find inspiration in everything they see. I think that's part of what makes us so extreme in our world views, like we HAVE to know what life's about.. is life the happy moments, with the nastiness being an exception, or is it the other way around? I think most other people don't bother asking themselves that question, and that's what makes us different, not our experiences. I'm not sure anymore if I'm an optimist or a pessimist at heart, but what's nice is that ever since I started writing, I can see my small place in the bigger scheme of things and appreciate the happiness more when it comes, and take life's miseries in stride a bit better than I used to.

Sandra Ferguson said...

Ooh, it's miserable to be under the weather (don't know where that expression came from, but sometimes it does seem to fit.)

Loved to whole flu-vaccine push, and then they'd chosen the wrong strain so it didn't really work. My oldest (at Texas A & M) just went through a week of that misery, and every time I saw a newslots on how the powers-that-be missed the mark on the flu this year, I wanted to throw something at the TV. I've actually decided having a kid sick is worse than being sick yourself.

Anyway, glad you survived. Here's hoping your next cup of hot tea isn't mandatory and is spiked with something lovely.

Marilyn Brant said...

Thanks, Sandra! Glad you survived, too. And I really love your idea of spiking that tea... *g*