…I had an ugly, bad infection. I really didn’t want to do much of anything but fold my arms and scowl at the universe.
A Kind Of Bad Infection
Last week I had one of the worst sinus, gross, cough, headache, body ache… infections… that I’ve had in a long time. In fact, I don’t quite remember having whatever it was as bad as I just had it. It wasn’t a sinus infection, or a cold or flu or anything like that. It was my allergies completely losing control and spiraling me down into the dark, sick mire of yuck. I was simply full of goop, and it wasn’t any fun. Not for me, my coworkers, or my family.
As a result, I really didn’t get anything done. I basically came home, tried as much as I could to chill (after taking some cold & sinus meds and some Airborne) and then went to bed and fell asleep after a little light reading and some NyQuil.
I was useless.
Being sick can make one feel not only incredibly miserable but naturally lethargic. You don’t want to do much of anything. And you don’t really want to enjoy anything either. You just want to hurt and fuss. It’s natural.
It’s a kind bad infection.
But last Monday I wasn’t allowed to get away with that.
A Good Infection
I arrived to band practice after a long day of coughing and hacking. My throat was on fire, my head throbbed and my left ear was plugged. In short, I was the poster child for not wanting to pick up a bass and strum it. I was much less enthused about standing next to a thundering kick drum and ear-piercing (through the one ear) cymbals.
But what resulted was some of the most joyous laughter I can recall in some time. Don’t get me wrong – we played terribly. Our lead singer was also starting to come down with something and, although our other singer and drummer were completely fine, they were having a ball goofing off and making us laugh.
This was our first rehearsal back after more than a month of quiet. It should have been a time for us to be really serious and focused. And considering that it was painfully obvious that we weren’t going to get anywhere on this night, you would think that we’d be stressed out, frustrated and perhaps even a little short with each other.
Instead, we were laughing. I don’t know how or where it started, but it was infectious. At a time when we should have been pissing and moaning, we were being infected with joy.
And it felt great! Even when the ceaseless giggling caused me to start hacking and wheezing like I should have been on my death bed.
We ended up calling the rehearsal short, mainly because we knew we could only get so far, and two of us were genuinely struggling. But we all left smiling and giggling. We lifted each other up. And though I still really didn’t feel good, my spirits were up the rest of the night.
What Do You Do When Joy Seeks You Out?
Sometimes in life we get sick, hurt, or just plain miserable – for any given reason – that no matter what happens, we refuse to allow ourselves to feel good. It’s almost as if we’d rather sit and stew in our own misery. As if any kind of joy would hurt. We seem to go out of our way to avoid feeling better. It’s as if we’ve claimed some kind of ownership on our pain and we don’t want anyone to take it away from us.
But that’s not how we need to be.
I had an ugly, bad infection. I really didn’t want to do much of anything but fold my arms and scowl at the universe. But when my friends took the initiative to try and make me feel better the only way they could (in that moment), I allowed myself to open up and be infected with joy.
I was fighting a bad infection with a good one.
The next time you are feeling terrible and joy seeks you out, let it in.
And in the meantime, take a look at what a few friends can do: