January 4, 2023
“2023.” I type the year here for the first time. Oddly – perhaps due to the very nature of the number itself – somehow the year feels like a ginormous exhale after holding one’s breath an entire year.
Was 2022 the year in which we collectively held our breath? Were we lasting through a succession of societal waves? Would we drown? Would the wave of all waves hit? Would we ride the crest?
The stock market dove. How far would it drop? Inflation steadily climbed, pushing the cost of goods higher. COVID bubbled with outbreaks of RSV and influenza.
A war was begun in a tale of two neighboring countries for the purpose, it is believed, of reclaiming an independent country as a state. Old wounds of Eastern Europe reopened as troops entered the Ukraine. Stories unfolded of atrocities.
Who can forget the imagery of watching the drone footage of a lady riding her bicycle being gunned down by tanked soldiers. They had invaded her town. She was later identified with the hearts on her manicured hands by the beautician who had done the work.
Who can forget the shelling of buildings clearly marked as medical centers or the civilian buildings cut in two by bombs?
The world held its breath.
I was afraid to breathe when anti-Semitism became a part of entertainment. An entertainer sadly dunned himself with the ancient symbols which had been parlayed sadly into images of hate in the Second World War. In 2022, he had been interviewed. He had been advertised. He was feasted upon by the attention of a former President. Their appetites seemed matched by a third who joined them for an infamous gathering.
In a collective gasp of oxygen, the world breathed a bit when major companies replied ‘no thank you’ to sponsorships and collaborations. The world seemed to wipe away tears at the memory of wartime hatred.
The United States still holds their breath with immigration.
US voters held their breath through midterm elections. I would like to say that some of the candidates were far-fetched caricatures of human behaviors and intellects. I land in the opinion that they were not so far-fetched. They represented a strong enough share of voting population to cause a momentous wave. A wave of what exactly, I am unsure.
Today I hold my breath just a bit as the House of Representavies vote repeatedly for their next Speaker. As I listen to parts of the rhetoric, I am first proud of our misfit government of mutts.
During the holidays I thought of my faith background. “I am a mutt.” I wanted to post that proudly but I retreated with that declaration!
In Sickness and in Health.
“I have not been sick like this since 1978,” I again declared to myself, in my mind’s conversation. As one lies on a couch in a haze of tired sickness, the mind can pretty much believe its own rhetoric. I thought the hyperbole amusing in its accurate feel of decades.
“Wait a second. Decades?”
Now of course I have been sick since then but I swear colds and flus come harder and fiercer than before. That could be true. It could also be a sign of my age.
In the weeks around Hanukkah and Christmas, I became sicker and sicker. By New Years, I was officially “under the weather.”
“Could have been worse.” Most definitely my health could have been worse! COVID tests showed negative results. I tested every few days as I became more and more tired. I had no other symptoms which would lead me to think of influenza or RSV.
But I am prone to whining and carrying on when I become sick. And that I did! Luckily the worst day coincided with my usual day off work.
I inaccurately assessed my stash of cold medicine. I had none. My recovery day began with starting a fire and a cup of coffee. A glass of water, blankets, a cozy cat and a dog recovering from his surgery added to my health day.
“I haven’t had a day like this,” I dug in deeper to blankets. “Since 1978…”
Or was it 1987?
Throughout the day, my son checked on me. Periodically he would share my watching of the Rocky movies marathon. The entire day we would watch. I would sleep. We would comment about actors and plots and other movies.
Until Rocky V.
I am no physician therefore I wish not to offer advice on what medications to take or not to take. Each human body is so unique. There are some basic truths which I believe are helpful.
1. Get your sleep.
2. Test if you believe you might have been exposed to COVID.
3. Take time to have a Rocky movie marathon type of day. A body battling sickness needs a quiet day to concentrate on the restoration of health.
4. Watch your fluids and food intake.
5. Let your mind rest too.
6. If you do not show improvement after three days, contact a medical center.
I am hoping to be in the last wave of my series of colds and congestion. In two days I will have completed my misguided notion of an advertising program according to the twelve days of Christmas. (Seemed like a clever idea at the time).
In January 6 it will be Epiphany. Maybe it will be a day of another breath. And maybe, enjoy the moment you realize it’s a new year. It’s 2023!
Exhale…and bring on the new resolution work! Grrrr.
(One must growl at resolutions. It’s a rule.)