Blessings of illness

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It's been a little over four months since I was flat on my back, sick in bed, for ten whole days.

That was just the wake up call . . .

I had been feeling pretty crummy for a good, long while. Stomach-churning anxious every single day.

That stomach-churning anxiety had been my companion for many months. Fueled by too much to do and not enough time to do it. A life packed to the seams with very little margin.

It's been four months since my body said STOP and my stomach doesn't churn quite so much anymore.

Curled up in bed for those ten miserable days, I knew things would need to be different. If not, I'd end up back there. No doubt.

With the kind help of my sweet mother-in-law and husband, I've taken a lot off my plate and am recovering from what I can only describe as burn out and exhaustion.

A good deal of which was self-inflicted.

But now . . .

– now I sit and relax more often. (Still working on it though. It's hard to be still)

– I play with my kids more often

– smile and laugh more

– have more free time in my day

– cook more often

– eat better

– exercise more (I've found a new love: Kettlebells!)

– sleep more

– read books

– create art (like the birdie above. I painted it, with a stencil! Easy project, but it brought me lots of joy)

There's a lot more in my life. But I'm doing less.

Less is more. Or so they say. (I think it's true.)

It's taken a long time to get my strength back and I still have to protect myself from myself some times. It's too easy to say yes to more things than I should, too easy to worry, too easy to overwhelm myself with long lists of errands or to-dos. But, ever so slowly, I am improving.

I now count my illness as a blessing.

It helped me refocus and take back control of a life that was running away from me.

How can I not be thankful for that?


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  1. Very encouraging! ☺ One day at a time is the best way to handle life, isn’t it? And to know that we are not the one in charge; God is… and He wants us to enjoy this life He has given us. ☺

  2. Hi,
    it’s not only coincidence that you should write this article and that I should read it. Something very similar has happened to me. During May and June I had to do a very long, technical translation, which meant more than 14 hours every day at my computer – the result – three venous ulcers that are giving me a very hard time. I’ve come to the same conclusion. Every now and then we need a “celestial slap” on the face in order to do something about our lives. I’m now also taking it easier, not committing myself to ever so many things, giving priority to things that are really important, but I still need a lot of practice. Thank you for having expressed your feelings. Surely more than one person will be inspired by them.

  3. Just wanted to let you know how grateful I am for your post. I have also been having nagging stomach issues but instead of slowing down, I have just adapted and limped along. It was amazing that I saw your post…I think I’ve been wanting written instructions….some permission maybe….to be okay with a slower more nurturing life. A simple Thank You to you! I will think of this post often.

  4. Last February I fell ill and spent 5 days in hospital with pneumonia. I had started to feel tired in December, thought I got over it and then got really sick in February. Just as you explained, my bosy said stop. Too much going on. The illness forced me to slow down. When I got better (it took 7 weeks), I started working even more than before but by the month of June, I was having pain in my chest. I have realized that fatigue and stress make the scar tissue pull and I get tired. It’s like a little bell that says SLOW DOWN. I do hope that it will go away forever, but in the meantime I am working hard on taking care of myself, my family and working a lot less because I am lucky to have that choice.
    The other week I was reading an american magazine and on one page, in an article, the person wrote about the importance of slowing down and then a few pages later, an advertisement talking about this incredible woman that has three kids, is a single mom, has two jobs and is doing her masters at university. We are supposed to say WOW, that incredible wonder woman!!! But really our society is just sending out very opposing messages to women. It’s irritating. I think about women that HAVE to work a lot and I am sorry for them. I do have the choice and I feel very fortunate.