A Christmas Miracle and Other Things

I am not one of those people who claims to never get sick.  My old boss was one of those people, and yet she’d walk around work hacking up a lung on a regular basis, spreading her germs down the hallway and taking numerous half-days.  There are a LOT of people who claim to never get sick (about half of them don’t) and there are those who get sick but insist on working through it because the work can’t get done without them and then there is me. I get sick once or twice a year at least and I have never been able to ‘work through it.’ S. contends this is because my parents coddled my brother and me when we were ill – they made beds on the couch for us, stocked up on various sodas, icecreams and teas, rented movies for us and not only did they keep us out of school while we were sick, they kept us home a couple of additional days so as not to relapse immediately.  Neither Derek nor I wandered through the halls of school with running noses or cloudy eyes or disturbing coughs and because of that we generally gave off the impression of glowing good health (S. keeps interrupting me as I write this – just now he told me the living room needs to be cleaned. I’ll continue to share his interruptions with you so you can see what I’m up against in actually posting today-) S.’s parents didn’t really let him or his sisters stay home from school and if they DID stay home they had to get dressed and then stay in their bedrooms because if they were too sick for school they were too sick for television. The getting dressed part is a mind-over-matter trick S.’s dad promotes around his house. So you can see we come from dramatically different backgrounds in our approach to illness.  Anyway. I’ve been nursing this flu/upper respiratory/ sinus whatever for five days so far, and I’ve gone through two and a half boxes of tissues, countless cups of lemon/ginger tea, a box of popsicles and half of a bad book simply because I don’t have the willpower to start something new (for anyone interested, avoid Dorothy (or is it Dorothea?) Benton Frank’s Pawley’s Island – I knew the minute I finished her FIVE pages of acknowledgments that I would hate this book and yet I continued to read and now I’m sucked into this plot and it’s just all KINDS of bad) and I’ve come to the following conclusion: The haters are right – there really is nothing on television. You would think with endless days on my hands with little to do but heal I could find one redeeming quality about daytime television but I’m here to tell you there is zilch on.  Once I ran out of blockbuster movies I spent hours searching the television for some sign of intelligence but it’s just not there. In case you work all day and were wondering. I am so thankful for blogs – I spent much of my days reading my blogroll and discovering new blogs.

So it’s possible my medicine is keeping me from making any sense at all today. I had intended to post about the frustrations shopping with my cheap, cheap husband for Christmas, and about some of the books I read and I was going to excerpt from Frank’s book just to show you how really truly bad it is and I was also going to write about attending events at Sam’s work as the ‘wife’ but I’m already running out of steam (S. is now sitting next to me eating potato chips. I mean, I’m happy his finals are over but until I’m a little healthier I’m going to have trouble appreciating his…here-ness). I think one of my points above that I forgot to complete is that I do, in fact, get sick, a couple of times a year. I can usually feel it coming on, and it tends to happen when I’ve been doing too much, when I’m going and going and going and would love to stop but just can’t.  I’ve always been the kind of person who needs quite a bit of down time and quite a bit of sleep to function fully, and when life gets away from me and I no longer get that kind of time I sort of end up collapsing – for me, the shut down is inevitable.  I wish I wasn’t like this, that I enjoyed perfect health all of the time, but my body has always demanded diligent allegience from me, and this cold/flu/sinus this is nothing more than my body extracting its payment because I’ve been negligent.

Anyhoo. Did I miss the memo that this year in place of Christmas cards it’s now appropriate to only send a photo with no note or anything? S. and I opened our Christmas cards yesterday and over half of them consisted of nothing more than a photograph with a “Love so and so” near the bottom.  We received photos of weddings and babies and newly adopted dogs and, S.’s favorite, one from my uncle standing next to the gutted buck he shot during deer season. As though these photos some how sum up the year people have had, as though getting married or having a baby or shooting a deer or adopting a dog somehow encompasses an entire year? Litlove  has a great post about composing the annual Christmas letter and while S. and I have made fun of the occasional “brag letter” we receive from family members, I greatly prefer a wordy letter discussing your year as opposed to a panorama picture of your baby.  Although if the only thing you can thing to start out your Christmas letter is “Well, this year brought a lot of back troubles for both Tom and myself,” like one card we received, you may be better off just skipping this year entirely.

Upon rereading this post I sound pretty cranky. My mom used to say that’s a sign I’m getting better. Then she’d bring me eggs and toast and tea. I’m thirty, and I straight up miss my mom when I’m sick.

On to the Christmas Miracle portion of today’s post.  Do you remember how I submitted a chapter from my manuscript for publication to two online literary journals, and the first online literary journal rejected it nearly immediately? Well I had just about given up hope on the other literary journal (my FAVORITE literary journal – it’s just so, so good) when low and behold Friday I found an acceptance in my inbox!  I have to do substantial revision come January (like, I have to cut thousands of words) and it’s going in a different section than I submitted it for (sort of a new writers’ voices kind of section) but damnit, in April I’m going to be in an online literary journal! This news made me happier than any other news I’ve received this month, from my new job to S.’s new job to, well, anything. I’ll link to it when it’s actually published.

So in 2007 I officially have 2 pieces independent of my job coming out – such an amazing, amazing feeling.  It reaffirms all the early mornings and late evenings I spend writing instead of doing other things, and it’s made me look at my graduate school manuscript again – one chapter of it will be published – hurrah for that!

Okay, I’ve gone on long enough, and I need to change the laundry. S. is being very quiet, watching football and drinking beer – ah, the great American male sedative still works. More soon!

This entry was posted in Do I Dare to Eat A Peach, Everything In Between, Time for a Hundred Visions and Revisions. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to A Christmas Miracle and Other Things

  1. Kerryn says:

    Congratulations Courtney!! Damn, April feels like a long time away — and I’m just waiting to read your submission. I can’t imagine how you are feeling.

    Oh, and watching football and drinking beer works as a sedative in Australia, too.

  2. Dorothy W. says:

    Congrats! That’s wonderful news. I will look forward to reading your work. And I hope your recovery goes amazingly fast.

  3. Make Tea Not War says:

    Hope you shake illness soon. I’m the same about needing down time and sleep or suffereing for it. my

    And congrats on publications!

  4. Cam says:

    Congrats on the upcoming publication of your piece!

  5. smithereens says:

    Congratulations! Don’t you feel that a successful submission is worth a hundred Advils?

  6. Kerryn – Thanks! Yes, April feels FAR away but I’m very thankful for the revision time.

    Dorothy – Thank you! And I’m feeling much better today.

    Make Tea – I would love to be one of those people who can function on minimal sleep and just go and go and go..

    Thanks Cam!

    Smithereens – welcome and thanks! A successful submission is definitely worth all that advil…

  7. bloglily says:

    Yay Courtney! (For the new job, for the journal — for almost being done with illness.) I loved hearing how your parents handled illness. I’m moving in that direction myself with my children. My nice swedish-american husband? If you don’t have a really, really high fever it’s off to school with you. xo, BL

  8. litlove says:

    Courtney – this is wonderful news about your publication! Destined, surely to boost your immune system! I’m thrilled for you. Now take care and get better so you can do those rewrites…

  9. Bloglily – it’s definitely interesting how different people handle sickness – I think both my parents’ parents coddled them so they approached our illnesses the same way – but my parents in general are VERY relaxed – grades were important but not that important, if that makes sense…I was also allowed to take ‘mental health days’ once a semester because sometimes, according to my parents, you just need some time to yourself…

    Litlove – Thanks so much! And I’m getting better every day. January seems a wonderful month for revisions!

  10. Emily says:

    Don’t know how I managed to miss this post earlier (must have had too much eggnog over the holidays), but congratulations on your Xmas miracle! Very-well-deserved with all the effort you’ve made over the past year.

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