I have a cold. An irrational and ridiculous retreat from relentless heat. It is one hundred and fifty-five degrees outside with a heat index of three hundred and twenty-five. I could sear a rump roast on concrete. I could sizzle bacon on the sidewalk. I think I saw a camel lumbering across the arid plain behind my house. I have a fever. I could be hallucinating. From my fevered view, all is withered, shriveled and parched. Wait, that was my reflection in the bathroom mirror.
But, alas, my pots are huddled under the shade of the patio umbrella and they are wilting. Curled around the edges. First too much sun and now not enough. Me too.
One thousand degrees, I know it is one thousand degrees outside, and here I sit shivering, tucked up in bed, wearing flannel pajama pants and socks. Socks! Oh, and a sweater. Sans make up, I sit amid piles of wadded up Kleenex, sequestered and surrounded by CD's, magazines, three novels, a stack of unfinished blog pages, my laptop, two legal pads and a pen, none of which is currently in use.
I am a melodramatic, medically challenged, meandering, malingerer.
Bedraggled. Dilapidated. Lackluster. Pallid, frail and infirm.
A limp, loose, unbecoming recluse.
I am an overly seasoned highly peppered sneeze sanctuary. Be glad you are THERE and I am HERE.
The truth is I am glad I am here. I have not had a summer cold in the past five years. An amazing record. A significant lapse in a perfect run of luck.
What I prefer to call this situation is a climatic catharsis.
A respite from reality.
A cooling off period.
A state of grace.
Coiffed in my bedhead hairdo, I melt into the malaise and it is good. Not to be perfect. Not to be even close to perfection. Rather, to meld into the mess and moan. Now, before this becomes too maudlin, even for my own taste, this is just a cold. I know that people. Akin to a stubbed toe or a pulled muscle in the total scheme of things. But...
....there is nothing wrong with giving in. Not giving up. Just giving in. Sometimes, and I know you women out there can relate, I try to do too much. Manage too much. Care too much. Worry too much. The fact that my inner sanctum is covered in "stuff I should really be doing", tells you more about me than I actually want you to know. But it's okay, 'cause I know that you do it too. Take care of others first and lovingly accept the leftovers. Serve up the good stuff and gnaw on the charred chicken wing.
So here's the deal. Perfection doesn't exist. Anywhere. That's a good thing. Like a new car. The first dent always makes me feel better. Just a tiny ding, and I feel myself relax. Or the appearance of little crow's feet, around the eyes, a signal of aging, yes, but also a symbol of smiling. Wide-eyed foolish grins.
To seek solace is an indulgence. A soothing, selfish, effort to ease into equilibrium. To mend. To repair. Restore and refresh.
It is as simple as pressing the Pause button. For yourself. And if you cannot do it for yourself, just wait, and life will intrude and Achoo you into acceptance. Once, even, as I was barreling through town on a mission, with too much on my mind, too many places to be and too little time, a tree fell on my car. An entire tree. Out of nowhere. On a windless sky blue day. For no reasonable reason. I stopped. I had to. Tree branches riddled the roof of my Jeep. I looked up and I swear I saw a wink. A tiny, barely perceptible wink I would never have seen unless a tree stalked me.
So do yourself a favor. Cozy up and take a break. Fill a bowl with ice cream. Snuggle in with the remote and your favorite ratty old robe. Give perfect a rest. Hush. Sing yourself a lullaby.
The prodigal child in you will return,
just as sure as the weather will break...
This prodigal will return as soon as my fever breaks.