Don't Let Illness Ruin Your Holidays

Good morning! I hope your day is off to a great start.

I’m trying to re-learn the art of breathing. The guy who almost never gets sick stumbled into a pile of germs somewhere, and they’ve taken up residence deep in my chest. I guess it’s time to see somebody better trained to deal with this. Too bad the liquor store won’t open for several more hours. They’ve got lots of experts in there.

I normally don’t get sick, so I can’t really complain when something like this catches me off-guard. I take the best vitamins you can buy, and normally when everyone else is in bed all day, I get by unscathed. Like anything else, you get what you pay for. I figure what I spend on vitamins in six months is less money than it would cost me to miss a single day of work. Food for thought.

But when something like this slips through, I’m a big baby. I didn’t know that until my wife informed me in no uncertain terms. And I guess she’s right. When you’re used to being sick, being a little sicker is no big deal. But when it only happens once every couple of years, it’s like slamming the car door on your middle finger. Trust me, the first aid for that one can get you in a bit of trouble. Hi boss!

This is a time of year when lots of people battle just about every imaginable kind of illness. And if you dare to see your doctor, the first thing they do is make you put on a surgical mask. Brilliant! I’m here because I can’t breathe, so let’s make it even harder. How about saving those masks for the people who are healthy and have the most to lose instead of trapping all the germs against my face?

And one more question while we’re at it. When did doctors decide it was a bright idea to stick a light in your ear and then immediately put the same light up your nose? Is this a prank they dreamed up at a frat party? “Hey Fred, watch this! Bet I can make him sneeze!” I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather have snot in my ears than ear wax in my nose. I’m just saying.

I’m trying to maintain a sense of humor about this. That’s how I approach most of life. Not all – just ask my wife. She can provide a pretty comprehensive list. But I try to look at things from a lighter perspective. It served me well when I stood on a stage in front of complete strangers who paid me to make them laugh. And it serves me well when my lungs are disintegrating from the inside.

For those who work where I do, a word of warning – I don’t waste my paid time off to save all of you from breathing the air I just exhaled. I’ve never been one to stay home sick unless I just can’t get up. Halfway through the day, the TV changes to shows I’ve never seen. If you don’t feel bad already, watch a little “daytime TV.” As the Stomach Turns, Mates of Our Wives … don’t get me started.

Okay, in fairness, nobody really sits close enough to me to make a difference. Every time they’ve put somebody next to me, they’re gone within two weeks. I’m starting to think maybe it’s me. But I’ve found that I recover faster if I just plow through instead of lying around in pajamas with a dozen used tissues in my lap. And the vitamins I take play a pretty big role in that. I may get sick, but not for long.

I hope you’ve made it through the season so far without illness, and if you have, I hope your luck holds out. There’s never a good time of year to be sick, but nobody wants to be sick through the holidays. Treat your body right when you’re not sick, and it’ll treat you a little nicer when you are. Meanwhile, enjoy the season and keep those germs to yourself.

That’s all for now. Have an awesome day!

© 2019 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

Stressed? Then Have a Little Fun!

Good morning, and happy Hump Day!

The week is half over, and by Sunday evening we can say the same about the whole month. Time flies when you’re having fun. You are having fun, right? I sure hope so. This is a time of year when we spend a little more time with family, share a few extra laughs with friends, and (plug your ears, boss) take just a little longer for lunch. After all, life is meant to be enjoyed.

Most employers don’t expect a lot during the second half of December. They know people are thinking about a dozen other things, and they plan for it. That’s why we work so hard in the months leading up to it. But some of us work in an industry where December is a little busier than normal. People in retail, healthcare, customer service, and others, work just a little harder this time of year.

Normally, that would mean coming home at the end of a long day and crashing on the sofa. The TV is on, but you’re not really watching. The kids are singing, but you’re not really listening. The dog is whining by the back door, but … well, you’d better pay attention to that one. Some things won’t be ignored.

Then there’s the shopping. First you have to find the perfect gift. Then you have to find the perfect wrapping paper. And don’t forget the card. There’s nothing more impersonal than a card that says, “Seasons Greetings – Love, Mom.” Well, don’t get your knickers in a wad. Kids don’t read the card anyway. They just flip it upside down to see if any cash falls out.

According to the old Andy Williams song, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. And, according to the lesser-known duo of Elmo & Patsy, it’s the time when Grandma got run over by a reindeer. Apparently, she drank too much eggnog and … well, you know the rest. I can certainly see how that could happen. Because, with all the extra stress, a little extra eggnog can be a blessing.

My girls learned as toddlers that Santa Claus likes cookies and pumpkin bread. But instead of milk, he prefers bourbon. Straight up, no mixers, and stainless-steel ice cubes that don’t melt and water it down. Hey, don’t judge me. I got the bicycles together and looked almost like the picture on the box. And I saved all those extra parts in case something fell off. That’s what helmets and knee pads are for.

These are the stories we all laugh about with friends. You know, several years later when the kids have safely grown up with no broken bones that can be traceable to Dad’s mechanical skills. I’m not suggesting you get hammered before you put your kid’s bike together. Just that it’s okay to set aside a little time for yourself to enjoy some of the craziness. After all, who’s paying the medical bills anyway?

It’s important that we make time for ourselves – time to relax, time to unwind, time to enjoy the season just a little. That may come in the form of a sleigh ride, a drink with friends, pizza night, taking the kids for ice cream, or just relaxing by the fire. If you have a fireplace, that is. That’s important. Almost as important as saving that second drink until after the bicycles are assembled.

Enjoy the season. Eat a few extra cookies. Put a few extra marshmallows in your hot cocoa. Have a piece of pie with whipped cream. Then turn the can upside down and fill your mouth the fun way. Act young. Snuggle under a blanket, and watch Rudolph with the kids. Twice. Sing a little louder, dance a little harder, and feel the magic in the air. It’s there. And once you find it, never let go.

That’s all for now. Have an awesome day!

© 2019 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved