Humans range in size and shape, colour and character, volume and variety. Yet one thing we seem to share is that when Mother Nature flicks the switch on the seasons, we all end up with the same achy joints, same nose like a tap and same desperate need to take a day from the world and shiver beneath bed sheets purging what is universally known as “the common cold”. It baffles me that we can 3D print human hearts, we can replace a mans thumb with his toe and we can grow a baby in a test tube but for some reason; no matter how much vitamin c, d, a, b, k, h or p we pop; the majority cannot avoid their annual run in with Sergeant Phlegm the fun police.
I am no exception. I write to you now from the cavern of my bedroom, draped in a cloud of defeat, a mote of tissues surrounding my bed, my mother on speed dial.
But I’ve been thinking (you can’t take my mind!), what about that guy/girl from work/school/tennis/the pub who claims to never get sick? What’s their secret, huh? I run, I box, I eat kale and drink H2O in recommended doses, so why do I get the adult cooties yet they somehow manage to skip it?
I asked Google. Turns out your immune system is sort of like your fingerprints – everyone’s is unique. While you can support yourself with a healthy diet and some daily movement; if you’re gonna get the flu, you’re gonna get the flu. And some people, well, they just won’t be able to relate.
So where does that leave us feebler species; the more sensitive of snowflakes? Should we just throw in the hot towel and succumb to the misery Influenza will surely inflict on us weaker links?
No. We shift the mindset.
I vote we view these viruses not as the enemy, but as educators of our immune system. Facilitators in the art of knowing thyself. Let us take stock (and not just in our chicken soup) of the potential boost to our collective immunity that these transient vibe-killers may have. What’s a touch more self-awareness, when every muscle in your neck and back already have your attention? You’re body is a temple, even if tourism is a little poor-mannered right now.
The fact of the matter is, most of us bi-pods are slaves to the elements. But a little gratitude never killed anyone so it can’t hurt to spend your extra time in solitude thanking your body for putting up a fight and exercising some high-pitched curiosity. Mix up Netflix and naps with nice words and back pats.
Thank you body, for carrying me around every other day of the year, and for reminding me to be more grateful in wellness.
I mean, really, what’s your other option? I’ve heard complaining won’t help.
Originally published in The Murray Pioneer