So, what a lousy week. Last Sunday I managed to catch the cold/ throat and ear infection that Bibu enjoyed during the Toussaint school holidays. So feeling miserable was the order of the week, coupled with the fact that i had a long winded meeting on Monday and Tuesday that I could not NOT attend and the fact that my boss was on holidays for three weeks. She's in the Bahamas now, by the way. Yeah, I could really hate her but she's a very cool boss, so no.
So have been feeling crap all week. Friday was a public holiday and I spent it at home doing pretty much nothing. Felt much better for it and I am not decidedly on the mend, albeit with a very stuffed nose and cracked lips for breathing through my mouth all the time. The house is tissue central.
This cold situation is coupled with another health-related item that is going on and all that has really affected me. It's funny how we always notice how good it is to be healthy when you have been feeling miserable for a while. And, it's only a cold, but it does enough to tint everything around you with a dark cloud layer. Or maybe it's just me.
For the first time since I got back to work just over a couple of months ago, last week I really did not feel like doing anything at all. Not going to work, not cooking, not answering calls from friends, nada. I have also been sleeping very badly for the last few weeks. I am super tired, but then lie in bed for hours thinking about all the things that could go wrong, all the things I am not good at, etc.
And then I watched a couple of documentaries on TV that got me thinking. the first one was a documentary on Flemish TV on a journalist visiting present-day Somalia and showing how life equals to pretty much nothing there, people roaming the destroyed streets of Mogadishu and living in the rubble, risking their lives with every step. Definitely something that we are not very often confronted with. As people living in the "first world" (whatever that might mean) we have a vague idea that there are people in least fortunate countries living in war, poverty and hunger. But it's all so theoretical, so far removed from us. It doesn't stop us from spending money on things we don't need or in wasting things life food and water, which might mean life or death to others.
The second one, on the famous French ENVOYE SPECIAL programme, was a report on the food waste generated by supermarkets, how in most cases all things which are deemed not for sale are thrown into the garbage bin. And how increasing numbers of people are living off this "garbage" which is still in quite good condition. I used to think that opening garbage bags to feed yourself was the lowest you could go and that it was something you would only see in underdeveloped countries, but in fact, the reality is more about how we as a society are buying too much, then throwing away perfectly OK food.
So I been thinking about perspectives. Yes, I was feeling like crap this past week, miserable and anxious about a few things that are going on in my life today, but compared to these things, it's nothing. My life is not perfect by no means, but I realised how privileged I am in the life I lead, how I can have anything I need and lots of things I don't actually need, with astounding ease. Once again I was focusing on the negative and forgeting about the positive: the great things that I have in the shape of a family that I love and that loves me, Bibu, Mr M, my friends, a job, a house.......... the list could go on a on.
Anyway, now re-reading this post seems like a badly written new age thing, but it's just this small realisation that most of us are really spoilt for choice. We have too much, we don't value what we have and we worry too much about stupid things.
The writer of one of the blogs I follow, who is going through an unbelievably sad family time, but with awe-inspiring humanity and resilience, had one of the best closing lines on a post today. I am stealing it now with pride:
"Don't go to bed angry with anyone tonight. Big hugs all around"
I"ll second that!
Have a great week, whoever you are who's reading this.