For more than a month, I’ve been sick. It started out as a sore throat and got worse so I ended up with bronchitis, which has lingered for several weeks. I admit I wasn’t taking the best care of myself and didn’t make my health a top priority. I was working a lot, traveling a lot, and didn’t heed the warnings that my body was sending me. Even when I got sick, I didn’t slow down long enough to give myself time to recover.
Most of the time I pay very little attention to my body, well that’s not entirely true. I pay very little positive attention to my body. I mostly notice it when it’s not acting right or when it doesn’t look right. In these weeks that I’ve been sick, my body has demanded most of my attention. It’s become apparent to me that my body is of me, but not of me. I am not in control. My body doesn’t care about my plans or my schedule. It does what it wants and I’m having to adhere to its schedule.
In traditional marriage vows, each partner commits to the union “for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health.” Though I’ve never been married, my commitment to myself will far exceed any commitment I make to a future marriage partner. I’m in a relationship with myself, and I haven’t been such a good partner.
Relationships need nurturing and care in order to flourish or at a minimum survive. I’ve taken the relationship I have with my body for granted. And in any relationship that is not working there comes a day of reckoning. I’m having to account for driving my body to exhaustion, for poor eating habits, and lack of exercise. Though being sick has been frustrating and painful, I’m trying to listen and learn from my body in order to be a better partner till death do us part.