The flu came to our house and claimed three victims. The kids seemed to get over whatever they had rather quickly, but I was thrown for a loop this past weekend. I don't believe I've ever had body aches that severe except for I don't know...natural childbirth or the 24th mile of the Chicago Marathon? I don't get the flu often, thank goodness. In fact, I know the last time I had the flu because it was so memorable: my 30th birthday while vacationing in Williamsburg, VA with my extended family. My sister, who just announced her pregnancy, became my nursemaid. Probably not the smartest move on her part, but she's a natural caregiver and couldn't turn her back on me. She was already getting the hang of that motherhood thing. Luckily, she didn't get sick. The other adults rallied around my kids and their needs. At the time they were 1 and 4--the only kids. I wasn't able to sleep nights and ended up watching Charlie's Angel's reruns and rude comedy offerings on HBO, a channel we didn't have at the time (before Tony Soprano and Carrie Bradshaw had me in their clutches). My entire extended family went out for a birthday dinner--without me. I did get to experience my birthday cake...twice...if you know what I mean. I was the only person who got sick, so my mom thought I was just having psychological issues related to aging. I contend that it was not the case.
So I guess I can't complain when my current recovery has come in the nick of time to celebrate my birthday this year. And to be honest, the nine years I was flu-free should count as a blessing and an affirmation of lovely life. Yes, I am going to be 39, and I am really happy to be this age. The number 40 doesn't scare me, but the seriousness of purpose in big birthday celebrations does. Crazy. 39 belongs to me. I am spending the day alone and in retreat tomorrow. I've rented a yoga/art studio shed in the middle of a spiritual retreat center. Just me. I am taking watercolors, camera, journal, yoga mat, and an assortment of cheese. Quite honestly, if all I accomplish is deep breathing, I will be a happy girl.