elegant or not

Dec 3, 2009 by

ohhhh, blogggg.

i miss youuuu.

it’s been a really lame couple of weeks, i have to tell you.

the flu (or his cousin or maybe his second cousin?) came for a visit our house and decided to stay a while. dave was the first to go down, then elias, then me (the day before 23 people were to arrive at my home for thanksgiving), then piper. we mostly had a random, peculiar and miscellaneous smattering of symptoms. 103 temps, chills, nausea, runny noses, headaches, general gross feeling-ness. i won’t bore you with any details, like about how sick kids are whiny and needy little drips, but by last saturday, i was so desperate to get out of the house that i was giddy to just get out and do errands. i mean, i almost was willing to gladly go to the grocery store. almost. but we’re all better now, and truly, i’m grateful that we weren’t more sick. a lot of people are really getting nailed with these various strains of flu.

it’s funny, i finished reading traveling mercies by anne lamott* when i was sick. and suddenly i felt like being sick is a great opportunity (and not just to catch up on reading).

let me explain.

i picked up in the middle of the book somewhere, and she was talking about her neighbor who had cancer and how one day she woke up feeling awful and achy with a headache and so on, and was complaining to her neighbor. who’s essentially…dying. and having chemo and various other painful cancer treatments. but he smiles and is chipper every day because he is at peace, and is enjoying his life anyway. you know, come what may-type thing. and she was killing me, talking about how ridiculous she felt because she was sick, and there she was complaining to him about her seemingly insignificant troubles. and it really reminded me that there is always someone sicker, always someone who’s frying a bigger fish in a murkier pond.

she writes “i hate being the kind of person who tries to get someone with stage-four metastatic lung cancer to feel sorry for her just because she has a headache. (though it was an ice pick headache.) but the way i see it, God loves you the same whether you’re being elegant of not. it feels much better when you are, but even when you can’t fake it, God still listens to your prayers.”

i tell ya, my head/body didn’t feel better after reading those pages, but my heart did and my soul did. we’ve all been there, haven’t we? when our life sucks “the most”, we’re the “most tired”, or the “most overwhelmed”, even though…we’re not. and we’re really not trying to be elegant, we’re just mad or sad or ill or annoyed and we don’t care who knows it.

reading those pages was a good reminder to be grateful even when we’re ill, and our kids are sick, and they whine and demand to be held constantly. because when we’re sick, we get to read books. and snuggle our kids and watch movies all day. and wear pajamas, and have no pressing things “to-do”. and be present. and enjoy the good things wrapped up in the not so good things.

because that’s life. and life IS good.

*and seriously, if you’ve never read anne lamott, pick up anything she’s written. bird by bird, operating instructions, anything. she’s somehow reverent and irreverent, quick-witted, insightful, and at times, cheeky. but i live for honesty in writing. it’s like breath to me. i’d rather listen to nickelback on repeat then read books that are a bunch of crap. so i admire her rawness. i wish i had half the audacity she does, even if i don’t always agree with some of her theology. it’s neither here nor there. hilarious is hilarious. and i love me some funny :)

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  1. suzannah

    traveling mercies is so fantastic. i love her, too.

    glad you all are feeling better!