Monday, August 30, 2010

How Good Is Life?





Very.

I’m one week past the disappointing end to my softball season (to which I over-reacted, as usual, and my apologies to anyone I dissed unfairly. We’ll be back in the finals next year, and we’ll win it all. I truly believe that.)

After two weeks worth of the worst cold/fever combination I have ever suffered through (which made the last two weeks of the playoffs a lot less fun than they should have been, win or lose) I am finally able to breathe normally again, and not blowing my nose every two minutes while hucking up variegated slimy yellowish-green and brown phlegm wads.

(I know that was gross, and I’m sorry. However, coming up with that sentence was the only bit of fun I’m getting out of having been so sick. I think I deserve a pass.)

While I was sick, I missed four days of work. Normally, as anyone normal knows, missing work is a good thing. However, in this case I spent the greater amount of the time sleeping fitfully, alternating between sweating and chills, and also coughing up the afore-mentioned phlegm wads.

(Just wondering: Does anyone know how the body produces so much yuck during an illness? At one point, I gave serious thought to collecting all of the snot and stuff in a bucket, just to see if my suspicions were correct, that I was manufacturing more stuff than realistically could have come from me, thus proving… something. I didn’t do it, of course, because I’m not completely insane. Lucky you. If I had gone through with it, there’d be photos.)

Anyway, missing all of that work depleted my store of sick days and made it necessary to also use up two days I had allocated towards a mini-vacation during Thanksgiving week. Now – unless I want to ask my boss for some unpaid leave – I’ll have to work during those days. That sucks.

Did I say that life was very good?

Yes, I did. And I meant it. Despite the above, here I am, sitting in my very leisurely lounging pants and t-shirt, having just enjoyed a couple of episodes of Phineas & Ferb (which, by the way, is a work of genius, and the best cartoon show I’ve come across since... well, I won't make comparisons, since that will just cause some of you to say "Sully, are you kiddin' me? That thing isn't anywhere near as good as my favorite cartoon!", but it is. I strongly advise you to check out a few episodes. And it should definitely be SEVERAL episodes, not just one. One episode may be amusing, but the full flavor of the running gags, which are the strength of the show, will not be realized without sitting through at least three or four episodes in a row. If I hadn’t been tipped off to that aspect by the person who turned me on to it – Dan, my buddy at work – then I would have dismissed it without having enjoyed the full insane flavor.)

So, wherever we were, let’s get back to it. I am as happy as a relative clam (NOT a knock on my in-laws) and I think sometimes we need to be as horrendously sick and unfulfilled in our desires, as I have been the past two weeks, in order to realize just how good life actually can be.

Or, if you have more brains than I do, and can see the goodness of life without being hit over the head by God’s existential frying pan, so much the better. I need a whack on the noggin every so often to understand how blessed I am. Maybe you don't. More power to you.

I’m 53-years-old, and I just spent the better part of the past sixteen weeks running around in fields of green, in the sunshine, playing a kid’s game with people I like very much. I have a refrigerator stocked with marvelous things to eat and drink. Colorful and hilarious entertainments present themselves on a magical electronic box in my living room. My bedroom has an air conditioner, and the house is heated. I need never be uncomfortable in the least unless I, for some bizarre reason, choose to be. I am married to a wonderful woman with a superb sense of humor (which she would have to be, by default, to have married me, of course) and we are in the midst of making plans for a great vacation in October (the days for which I have NOT had to eat into, thank you.) My work situation is far better than that of the majority of mankind – no heavy lifting, a decent buck, and everyone with whom I work has a sense of humor that makes even the most trying days full of intermittent joys – and my boss has never failed to be fair with me, at the least, and has been overly-generous on more than one occasion. Last, but certainly not least, I enjoy a faith that carries me through the rough patches via a certainty of there being better times ahead (and I’ll expand upon that, here, sometime in the near future, and I hope it turns out to be a blessing for those of you who need one. Those of you already blessed can just ignore me.)

(So there's something that should keep you breathlessly on the lookout for my next post - a promise of a religious screed. Yes, your life just keeps getting better and better.)

(Which will be the overall theme of the screed, actually, as well as the upcoming paragraph, so pay attention and get a preview.)

How good is life? As I said at the beginning, Very. Once again, I am in possession of the great truth I sometimes lose through sloppy thought. It is the story of my life (and of yours, should you choose to embrace it.)

Soon, with more better stuff.


48 comments:

Hilary said...

Oh.. back on the good meds, are you? ;) Nah, I know you're a grateful guy. That's one of the things I like about you... your appreciation for life. Glad you're feeling better

Buck said...

How good is life? As I said at the beginning, Very.

We're in agreement on that one. Not just about YOUR life, which is good indeed, but life in general. It doesn't do any good to bitch and moan about spilt milk... there are blessings to be counted and enjoyed in the here and now, beer being first among equals. ;-)

Glad you're feeling better. I went through that cold krep last month and it damned near killed me; I'm only exaggerating just a tiny lil bit.

haphazardlife said...

I'm glad you're feeling better and immensely grateful you didn't go through with your snot in a bucket idea. For this I thank you.

Eva Gallant said...

We could have stood a little less description of the snot and phlegm, but glad you are feeling better!

Cricket said...

Yikes. I almost didn't make it through your introductory paragraphs. At least, not without filling a bucket of my own. Yuck.

Glad to hear you're on the mend, though.

I agree re: Phineas and Ferb. Some great stuff there. Of course, if I remember right, you were one of the few adults I ever knew who also appreciated the inside humor of the Powerpuff Girls. Sugar, spice, and Chemical X... Priceless.

Craig said...

Awwww. . . missed opportunity on the phlegm-bucket, Sully. . .

That actually reminded me of a story once told me by a friend of mine who'd been a missionary to a very back-woods tribe in some third-world country or another. Not long after he arrived there, he came down with a nasty cold, producing all the good green stuff that we all know and love. So he was blowing his nose all the time. He hadn't thought of just how 'westernized' he was, until, after blowing his nose loudly and voluminously, one of the tribesmen asked him, "Why do you save that stuff?" He didn't understand the question, and asked the man to repeat it. "Why do you save that stuff?" he repeated, this time pointing to his handkerchief. And he had to laugh at his own 'inculturation', for such a simple thing as blowing his nose into a handkerchief. . .

And, I'll be looking forward to your expansion on your faith. . .

GreenJello said...

One of the greatest lessons in life I have learned thus far is this:

Notice-- and appreciate-- the small things.

Stop for a moment to enjoy the sound of a child's laughter. Pay attention to that spider building a delicate web. Smile at the sunrise. Deeply smell the rain. Savor the taste of a really good dessert.

Life IS good. Very, very good. :)

Jinksy said...

Are you sure your nose wasn't letting you brains leak out?! LOL Hope you are totally fit now, anyway! LOL :)

IT said...

"Does anyone know how the body produces so much yuck during an illness?"

My theory is that it's been saving it up since the last time.

Jeni said...

Like you, I have often thought that those mucus glands go into overdrive production whenever a cold makes its way into my system. I've even thought of trying to measure that output too but couldn't come up with an easy way to do that so I nixed that plan.
But as often happens when I read your stuff, I find myself today agreeing wholeheartedly with your premise that life is good. You bet your bippy it is! And if anyone doesn't believe you -or me -let them try the alternative and come back to tell us about that aspect, huh?

Shrinky said...

Hmnnn, life was just ticketty-boo great, up until I hit upon that, "..while hucking up variegated slimy yellowish-green and brown phlegm wads.." line. Cheers, Jim!

Glad you are back to your hale and hearty self again (I can't bear the thought of reading more info about your ailments). That said, this week has had me thinking rather along these same lines - I have never been so happy to be home!

Michelle H. said...

A screed? Why does that word always makes me think of the noise someone makes when hacking up a big yellowish-green wad of phlegm Did you make any screed noises?

(Why do I get the feeling you are going to take that last sentence as a double entendre...)

The Good Cook said...

Your are right and wise to recognize the good in your life. Appreciate your every day of it. So much can change, so quickly. I know. And faith? Without it I don't believe I could stand up.

Moannie said...

Had one of those 'light bulb' moments last night as I was dropping off to sleep. I thought "JP really is a darling to you...and you take advantage of all the little things...go and give him a kiss." It was one of those times when having him in bed next to me would have been handier. As it was I thought "I'll tell him tomorrow" and I did.

Happy you are back on form XX

Quirkyloon said...

Nicely said Mr. Dog! Nicely said.

And I've watched Phin and Ferb. My six-yr-old loves it! I've been known to enjoy it on occasion (just don't tell him).

hee he

Tim King said...

> Phineas & Ferb... a work of genius

Yes, yes it is.

The Little One loves Phineas & Ferb, and as you may be able to guess, I've seen most of the episodes as a result. :-)

-TimK

Bruce Coltin said...

Well, then, I sense some wisdom in my future, and I'm ready for it. Funny how being sick can stoke up the philosphical region of the mind. I will stay tuned (as they used to say).

Carolina said...

As Jinksy said too, I'm always certain it's brain dripping away through nose. It must be! Think about it. If you can after so much brain disappeared through nose. Would have been interesting to see the bucket full of... hmm.

Will definitely be checking out Phineas & Ferb. I know it's on the magical box here too, but I've never seen it.

Chris said...

Always nice to keep things in perspective, Sully. Are Phineas and Ferb those pointy-faced Spy vs. Spy-looking guys that were on during the Little League World Series?

Daryl said...

All that stuff you were hocking up? It was the bad feelings you had when your team .. lost ... now its all gone and you are back to being Suldog, King of Good Spirits

Glad you be all better!

Kathryn Magendie said...

Now you have me wondering about the snot stuff and how much it would turn out to be -ewww- I'm disgusting! laughing....

But, yeah - I've been doing the "life is wunnerful" thing lately too - I realize just how danged lucky I am - and believe me, having been on the darker heavier horrible side of things, life now seems even sweeter . . .

Mushy said...

Certainly glad you are on the mend.

Joan said...

Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air...
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Just read this and I loved it.
We do have plenty to be thankful for. And like all of us, we don't always apreciate it, and once in a while, like you said, need a whack on the noggin, kick in the pants, however you want to phrase it. :)
Glad you are felling better.

Crazed Nitwit said...

Feel the peace my brother! My faith has taken a hit lately but I still know it's better than many others' lives. Hugs. To you and your lovely wife(just in case someone thought I was hitting on you)

lime said...

dang, i thought i was being grateful. how come i got the frying pan in the noggin last week and into this week? just kidding. lie is like that sometimes, i reckon.

anyway, sorry it's taken me so long to get around these here parts but you know why. glad you are on the upswing and sorry to hear you've been so sick. that's just no fun at all.

just wanted to say the eoncrouaging words you left at my place were greatly appreciated...even more so as i now know you were feeling like total crap.

Chuck said...

It's important sometimes to realize how good we have things. My life isn't perfect but I'm pretty satisfied with it. Especially when I don't have a cold.

Sorry you didn't win the championship, but good luck next season!

Retiredandcrazy said...

Very uplifting. I can't wait for your next post.

i beati said...

I love to hear people say it out loud. I have had 2 falls and 3 other serious injurioes in the last 2 weeks. I cannot gallop right now but still feel blessed.!!sk

Matt Conlon said...

One of my favorite clips from P&F: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zpw3obXonVs

slommler said...

I too wonder where all the stuff comes from. Can one body really hold all that crap!!?? Glad you didn't show the pic though...or I would have lost my breakfast!!! Thanks!
Waiting with bated breath for your much better stuff!
Hugs
SueAnn

Anali said...

Such a nice post! Glad that life is good. I think the same way sometimes. For some reason my right big toe really hurt a lot out of the blue. I thought about how it would feel better soon and imagine how great I'd feel then. Stuff like that works for me!

Oh, and I'm very grateful that you didn't take any pictures! : )

TechnoBabe said...

Sorry to hear you were under the weather as in off work and very sick. I am sure you wife must be happy to have you no longer using up all the tissues and leaving them around the house. Oh, that's my hubby, sorry. Where are you going on vacation in October?

Uncle Skip, said...

I'm sure sorry to hear that you had to waste your sick time being sick.
The snot and phlegm thing, it's a darn miracle, like the loaves and fishes.
I'd forgotten that a screed wasn't just a concrete leveling device.
Someday we should compare gratitude lists. I just added - I'm glad to have an Internet connection tonight.

Suldog said...

TechoBabe (and any others who may have been wondering) -

We'll be heading to Chicago for a week, in conjunction with my Godson, Joseph, starting out at DePaul University. A couple of days doing stuff with him, and then a few days on our own to explore the city.

I enjoy subways and mass transit stuff, so I get to explore the Chicago "EL", the second biggest subway/elevated system in the U.S., behind New York. I'll probably take a day to do that while MY WIFE does something else I might not find that interesting; shopping on the "Magnificent Mile" maybe. Or she might do the tour of the system with me, as she's somewhat interested in that sort of stuff herself, although not to the extent that I am.

I also look forward to eating local hideous-for-you delicacies, such as thick pan pizza, Chicago-style hot dogs, and the local Italian Beef sandwiches.

I have to stop writing now. My belly is rumbling. Happens every time I tell someone about this trip. I can't imagine why.

Uncle Skip, said...

Chicago - now my stomach is rumbling because I will always think of food when I hear anything about Chicago... also will remember that traffic is a nightmare, even as far as 30 miles away. You aren't driving... right?

Ananda girl said...

Well can't say that I am sorry to have missed the phlegm photos!

I agree with all my heart that there is a purpose to unpleasant experience. We might rue it at the time, but with the attitude you have, we gain much from it. YAY

Believe me some of those dents in THE FRYING PAN came from my own noggin... and I'm still grateful. Good words, Suldog. I can't wait for your next post.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Glad you've had frying pan-to-head reminders lately. Yes, life's good! Blogging a Year of Gratitude was really helpful to me -- keeps the thankfulness front and center most of the time. :)

LadyHavoc said...

Okay, I know y'all probably don't want to know this, but your lungs produce about 100 ml of fluid everyday, even when you're not sick. Most of that fluid just goes up the trachea (windpipe) and into your esophagus (tube to your stomach). Doesn't that make breakfasat yummy now? When you're sick, your body can't handle the excess and you have to cough it up, blow your nose, whatever, to get rid of it.

This is the kind of stuff you learn as a respiratory therapist. I've been doing it for 15 years now, and that's one fact I wish I could unlearn.

Eddie Bluelights said...

Glad you are back and well, Jim.
An interesting question you raise about all the liquid stuff we produce when ill and how input quantity compares to output quantity.
I expect someone has a large scientific grant and is working on it right now.
If you could think of something to do with these liquids on a commercial basis you might make a fortune.

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Yuk, but at the same time, no one wold ever accuse you of not sharing with the world. And as we all know, sharing is caring :-) Glad you're feeling better!

Chicago sounds like it will be a blast! I just got done readig a book by a native actually and now the EL kind of makes me scratch my head. Turns out it works on spokes off a central hub instead of branches so everything has to do this big loop around the outside. I'll be excited to hear your stories of all the yummy food too! Have fun!!

Stu said...

Nice.

endangered coffee said...

I am glad to see that I have been away for awhile and you are still unretired from softball.

Nick said...

Pinky and The Brain does it for me!

Sniffles and Smiles said...

You're the BEST, Jim!!!! Yes!!! Life is very, very good! So much to be thankful for!!! Wishing you a wonderful Labor Day!!! Hugs, Janine

Teacher's Pet said...

Jim...I'm sorry that you've been sick. It seems that the sickness has traversed the United States. We've all had it here, too...sigh.
I am thankful for your recovery, and I am thankful to know you.
Smiles from Jackie

Angela Christensen said...

Emerging from Ye Olde Sinus Infection my own self, I'm more-than-usually inclined to sing the praises of the "How Good Is Life" theme you've selected. I gotta say it's pretty damn good. And thanks, Sully, for reminding us all that there is no light without darkness: you don't appreciate being able to haul your ancient ass around 90-foot basepaths unless you know what it feels like to not want to haul your ass around them because you're busy blowing colorful snot of out of your head. One ancient person to another: thanks.
Love,
Angie at Eat Here

Sandra said...

Only you could manage to incorporate a graphic description of what is hacked up during sickness into a post about the blessings of life! I'm glad you're better -- I couldn't take too many more descriptions of THOSE blessings! :)

Eleonora said...

I agree, "Phineas and Ferb" is a work of genius. It's broadcast on cable here in English, and now my 5 year-old wants a platypus. When I need to scold him for breaking something, I talk with ze Doofenshmirtz accent.

Glad you're feeling better.
Couldn't access the facebook thing you sent me, what was it? It had the image of a pig... should I be offended? ...Or flattered?