As a person with a brain that never shuts the fuck up, I really do have a hard time sitting still. Ever since I was a young one with toy poodle hair and a flashy all-Disney wardrobe, I’ve had a hard time being fully present. My mind was always off somewhere else, writing my own Oscar acceptance speech, excavating mummies in Egypt, and as I got older, my mind started going to less fun places— anxiety-ridden hypotheticals and the stress from taking on too many projects at once for the sake of creative variety. I can safely say, the most still I’ll ever be isn’t in a meditation session or in a candlelit bath. The most still I’ll ever be is when I’m sick as a dog. I’m not proud of it, it’s just the truth.
I’m not the most enlightened being you will ever meet. When I first started feeling inklings of illness early last week, I ran to the medicine cabinet and downed vitamin after vitamin to try and kill that shit early. The next day, I felt off but pushed through, hoping that maybe it was all in my head. There’s way too much work to do anyway, I simply can’t be sick. I’ll just ignore this approaching sickness and maybe it won’t notice me and go find someone else to plague. I’m an idiot.
The next day hit me like a school bus. My entire body was limp with fatigue. I had already signed up for my weekly hot yoga class and didn’t want to lose the money (ClassPass problems) so I dragged myself there and promptly came back to work. Nope. Not happening. My body forced me into the fetal position and I closed my eyes. It was a moment of complete and utter peace despite my scratchy throat and full awareness that there was no easy way out of this cold. I wrapped myself in a furry blanket and gave in.
I know it sounds really cliché but sometimes we have to just slow down. It’s easy to forget that, especially in a place like New York where slowing down is frowned upon unless you’re willing to pay a minimum to relax at a spa or infrared sauna or sensory deprivation tank. We’re all inundated with information from the moment we wake up to the moment our brains shut down for bed. Some of us are better at navigating that than others. I have a hard time saying NO to the tidal wave of data hurdling at me all day. Instead, I say yes over and over and over again until I’m truly exhausted.
I’m making it an early resolution to start putting my phone away for early mornings and late evenings. Even just a little breathing exercise in the morning and night has helped—how can something so simple align my body and mind so well? It just does.
Being sick and bed ridden has reminded me that sometimes doing nothing at all is truly something. From now on I’m going to try basking in the in between, where nothing tangible goes on but so much life is quietly being lived. Sitting still, until next week.