I got the flu in Seattle, and started feeling sick on our last night there.  It was pretty miserable to spend all day in airports and planes while feeling bad, and to have to lay around while I needed to get started on my teaching materials (the semester starts tomorrow).  First day of teaching, for me, will look like this:

“Good morning, people.  I have the flu and am still contagious, so after I introduce myself, please leave quickly and quietly and go print off the syllabus yourself.”

Who could blame me?  Right?

If I were to make a list—as I’m tempted to do, every day—of all the things I need to do before April, 1) I would explode, 2) the internet would explode, and 3) the galaxy would explode.  This is seriously how I feel right now.  And now I will tell myself this grave, true thing: My anxiety makes only tiny ripples in 1) my self, 2) the internet, and 3) the galaxy.  The worst thing it could do is give me a panic attack, which wouldn’t even cause serious health problems.  Unless I gave way and had regular panic attacks and high blood pressure, which I wouldn’t do.

Since I’m still contagious and Marshall hasn’t (so far) come down with anything flu-like, we’re constantly washing hands and trying to keep physical contact to a minimum, which also seems to be elevating my anxiety.  And making me miss him dreadfully, even when he’s in the same room as I am.  Man, sleeping in the same bed with a husband is completely addictive and I’m suffering withdrawal horribly.  Oh whatever. This is the beginning of me calming down.  All this garbage will be much more bearable once I finally get into the semester, though—things are always more bearable once I stop dreading them, and start doing them.

For most of my life, I didn’t believe in flu shots.  Now I believe in them.

As a final note of hysteria: Erin and Matt got us a board game for Christmas called Pandemic.  Since whoever we were “borrowing” free internet from recently put a password on their wifi (selfish neighbors), and we can no longer stream Cheers in the evening, we decided to play it last night.  It took us 20 minutes to read all the instructions, but once we started playing, it was fun and actually urgent and thrilling.  Ha.  The fact that I had a virus that Marshall is trying not to get added an extra dimension of something.  Every once in a while, during game play, somebody will draw a card that says…Epidemic! and everybody freaks out and disease proliferates.  It’s a real thrill.

Now: to think about and cultivate calmness and wellness.

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