Last night, late in the evening while hanging out with my traveling partner, I caught myself sniffling a bit. I shrugged it off and really thought nothing of it. Some minutes later, sniffling again, my traveling partner looks at me with a thoughtful expression and matter-of-factly notes “You got it. You got my cold.” I sort of brushed that off, hey – probably not? Maybe? Please? By the time we called the night over, I was sneezing.

This morning I woke too early, stuffy head, hearing muffled on one side, painful scratchy throat… I’m sick. Damn it. How tediously, grossly human. New job, new sickness? Nope, that’s for later, most likely; that one usually hits me about 3 weeks into a new call center job. lol I still have that to look forward to. This is more a souvenir of my traveling partner’s recent travels. Germs from afar! Like a present!  🙂 I’m still smiling, still laughing… probably spending much of the day in bed. I’ve still got work tomorrow. Shit. Sick at work in an open office environment is both unpleasant to endure, and likely to encourage the spread of this wicked whatever-the-fuck-it-is. I’m fortunate that I can simple grab my laptop and make haste for a smaller space in which to work, safely away from coworkers. I take a moment to feel grateful I spent yesterday on laundry and housekeeping.

This writing is interrupted regularly for dealing with the biological outcomes of being ill. I find myself wondering “why bother?” knowing I’m unlikely to get around to saying anything particularly meaningful. I frown at that thought, and wonder a bit morosely if I ever do; life filtered through the misery of sickness. lol I’m okay. It’s a cold. It sucks, but it’s very human.

I write a bunch more words, about nothing much at all. I delete them due to lack of substance. I write a bunch more words, about mundane details of life. I delete them, too, due to a perceived tone that seems subtly whiny, and carelessly inattentive to points of privilege I am fortunate to enjoy (a roof over my head, a secure place to sleep, potable hot and cold running water, indoor plumbing, a private bathroom, a well-stocked pantry, a fast internet connection… an internet connection, at all… there’s a lot that is easy to take for granted). I’m sick, and my writing reflects it. There are a lot of people who have a rough time of things in life. I’ve just got a head cold.

It is a head cold though, and having one feels miserable. Safe social practices make sense: hand-washing, covering coughs and sneezes, refraining from close contact, refraining from sharing utensils, food, or beverages, avoiding food prep tasks for other people’s meals, bleaching counters and surfaces – where possible, as I go. It’s not a lot, but these steps tend to slow the spread of illness. Even as sick as I am, I’ll take these steps as consistently as possible; being sick sucks, why would I spread that around? I “play it like a game” to stay mindful of good practices, since being sick also tends to cause a certain lack of fucks to give about pretty much everything else. I “win the game” if no one else I interact with catches the cold. 🙂

Today is a good day for exceptional self-care. Today is also a good day to be mindful that I’m ill, and that illness is contagious. Today is a good day for a large box of tissues, and a handful of practices, and a good book. 🙂