Monday, January 5, 2015

Why I'm Thankful for our Christmas Flu



For the first time in years I procrastinated in getting our family flu shots.  Guess what?  For the first time in years, we got the flu.  It was a bad one.  Kitty and I were the first to go down with fevers and sore throats.  That happened on December 18th.  The next time we were able to leave the house for anything other than a doctor's appointment was January 3rd.   We were really sick. We had to cancel all of our holiday plans.  We didn't get to go to Grandma's, we didn't get to see Aunt Karen visiting from Alaska, we barely got the kids' presents wrapped.  We sat wrapped in blankets, watching Netflix.

It sounds pretty terrible, huh?  It was. It sucked.  I have to say, though that I am thankful for our Christmas flu.

No, the fever did not affect my brain (though it did reach a kinda scary 104.2!),  I'm not glad we were sick, but I can find the silver lining.  It made us stop.  Any shopping that wasn't done by December 18th didn't get done.  You know what?  There were still plenty of gifts.  All of the last minute things that I usually worry about getting were unnecessary and definitely not missed.   I think the kids appreciated the gifts more; not because there were fewer things, but because the gifts that were there were all the good stuff.  There were no filler gifts for the sake of having even piles or just having more to open.  The most thoughtful gifts were there and it was totally enough!

I wasn't able to stand in line at the post office to ensure timely delivery of gifts for nieces and nephews.  Those boxes are still in my bedroom.  They will go out this week, and my niblings will have new gifts to open during that rough first week back to school, which will be a treat! No one missed our gifts during the onslaught of stuff on Christmas Day, and now they will be able to really appreciate the gifts we send.

We couldn't go anywhere on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.  It made me realize that while I love seeing our extended family, there was something magical about just the four of us cuddling and taking care of each other.  We didn't have to worry about rushing through our family time in order to be dressed and ready to get somewhere in time for a 4 o'clock dinner (seriously, why do we eat so early on holidays?).  I managed enough strength to put a pork shoulder in the crock pot, which no one ate, but made the house smell nice. We all had popsicles and watched Die Hard.  It was a very Feliciano Christmas, and it was kind of awesome.

I had to ask for help. It's always hard to ask for help, but I did it.  When we were totally out of Gatorade and popsicles (the only thing we were eating) I took friends up on their offers of grocery delivery.  It made us feel so loved and cared for, and so appreciative of the family we have created through friendships here in Seattle.

We are better now (well, I have some lingering complications from a ruptured ear drum, but we are mostly better) and I've learned from this flu.  I've learned that it's okay to slow down, that what you have is usually enough and that nothing is better than being with the people you love the most.  All that learned, and I only had to clean up a little puke.

Also:  Get your flu shot.  It's not too late.  All this silver-lining stuff is nice, but the flu can kill you.

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