I woke up yesterday with the worst cold I've had in a while. I felt the dry, hot fire in the back of my nostrils and rolled over in bed with a moan. I heard the kids stirring. My husband was grinding coffee in the kitchen while he fried eggs taken fresh from our India gray Brahma hens. I took a hot shower. I kissed my son, playing with a train under the sparkling holiday tree. I fed my gorgeous dog and petted a cat who looked out the window at my other son, hitting icy things with a small hammer in the back yard.
I felt physically awful, with sinus congestion, muscle aches and a sore throat. My brain was mush. I gave myself a silent lecture about working too much and not exercising enough and then made myself a cup of chai. As I sat at the table, I thought:
Oh, Today. Thank you for every beautiful thing I woke up to. This amazing life did not go unnoticed.
I liked that thought so much, I posted it as my Facebook status and then put my phone away. I hoped that it would continue to put some good juju into the world for me and keep me away from all the yucky news that projects a horrible 2017.
I spent the day working on research for my classes in Nepal, taking a very long nap, watching the new Pete's Dragon with my kid and having a short dance party with my dog, who is getting very good at his spins. My husband made the best Thai Mushroom and Coconut soup ever (or so the youngest proclaimed) and it has already helped with my cold.
I am enjoying this cold very much. It waited, like they always do, to pop up when I had a couple of days off work. It's giving me a reason to sit in front of a fire, enjoy my family and just take a little foggy-headed break. I am drinking quarts of water and soup and napping and I'm pretty sure that nothing could be better this weekend.
Part of why I feel so blessed about this time is that there is a small anxiety growing in me. It's about leaving my kids and going halfway across the world. It's not a short trip. It's not a mundane trip. It's a lot of traveling through a country that has been wrecked by earthquakes and being in a clinic with a high potential for disease exposure. There are other anxieties dancing around in there, all the normal things about not-being-good-enough or what-if-I-let-somebody-down. Those things will come up and I will deal with them.
Yet, about my children, I wonder if they deserve a better mother. Then I tell myself that I am doing a good job. I am setting a good example. I don't know that I believe it though. I wonder if they are afraid for me and I ask my older son, who says he is, "just a little, because of the earthquakes," and we talk about it. We talk about courage and the importance of finding it in ourselves. Was that good? Will that help him? Have I done the right thing?
It's 28 days until I leave. My awesome family will take me to the airport, where we will have breakfast at Petite Provence with Dr. Jessie Brown. And then Jessie and I will get on a plane heading to Seattle and then another to Dubai. We will spend the night there before heading on to Kathmandu. What happens after that is planned on a calendar in a way that I expect will move like the body of a very slippery fish. And in that creature will be a super amazing thing: A Phone! I will have an inexpensive way to call home and talk to my kids multiple times per week. Knowing this brings the anxiety down just a bit.
Here's to all of you out there, with your awesome families and your colds and your gratitude and your anxiety and everything else that goes into the mix of this amazing life. I know that you're not letting yours go unnoticed either and that alone tells me that 2017 is going to be a stellar year. We're going to make it into one.