Friday, August 29, 2014

Sick Day

Well, I popped some ibuprofen, blew my nose, swallowed hard (past that weird scratchy lumpy feeling in my throat), and went to work.

Two hours later, having accomplished precisely nothing but staring bleary-eyed at my computer screen thinking "I have" I gave in and told my colleagues that I was going home because I was sick.  I grabbed a big fat file of things to do - because maybe I would feel better soon? - and left.

I stopped at the drugstore and picked up my prescription (unrelated to being sick, just a thyroid med I've taken for years, but being away from the office meant that I actually had a moment to swing by and get it), and I also picked up the September issue of Vogue, two boxes of tissues, and a couple "oops we're out of these" items.

I'm not going to get to that big fat file of things to do.

I've got five hours to be sick, and five hours in which to feel better.  At 6pm I'm picking up Katherine and her friend, and Katherine's getting her hair cut, and then we're going out for dinner together, and then there's a sleepover at my house.  Tomorrow when the friend goes home, Katherine and I are going back to school shopping, and I've got a marvelous day planned that includes catching a moving, getting frozen yogurt (Katherine) and a mocha (me), as well as picking up pants that actually reach my daughter's ankles and shirts that reach her wrists (because her summer growth spurt has been impressive).

For the next five hours, I will flip through Vogue, watch TV, and maybe (just maybe) nap.  I will eat soup, drink tea, and prop myself up on the sofa with pillows and an afghan.  In another hour, I'll take two more ibuprofens to see if perhaps the second round will make my headache go away.

Somehow, this feels luxurious.  Five hours in which I will do nothing but be quiet, with no self-pressure to improve myself, complete a house project, or accomplish anything.  Five hours in which nobody but my colleagues knows that I'm at home, and the phone won't ring, and nobody will come by.

There are dandelions blooming in the yard, but I'm not even a bit tempted to mow or weed.  There are fingerprints on the cupboard, and I'm not tempted to wipe them.  The work stack will remain untouched.

There's an up side to being sick, and this is it.  Might as well enjoy it, even if I must be semi-miserable while enjoying it, don't you think?


Sick day soup.  Takes about 10 minutes to make, plus extra cooking time.  I usually have these ingredients in my fridge/freezer/pantry anyway, so no shopping involved.  If I was taking a trip to the grocery store, I'd add bok choy.  This will make a lot, so you can serve it for dinner when the family comes home, too.  It's a bit like won ton soup, and it's my variation on chicken noodle soup.

1 bag Trader Joe's gyoza
1 onion
2 carrots
several cloves of garlic
2 stalks of celery (slightly wilted will do!)
box of chicken broth (4 cups, I think?)
handful of fresh parsley
sesame oil
soy sauce

Drizzle some olive oil in a soup pot and heat on medium high.  While the oil is heating, chop up an onion and throw it in.  While that's heating (stir every now and then), chop up the carrots and celery, and throw them in, too.  While that's cooking, mince some garlic and throw that in.  Once it's all together, dump in the bag of gyoza (or use rotisserie chicken, or whatever is in your fridge that sounds good) and brown them slightly.  When it's all lovely and fragrant and slightly browned, add the box of broth.  Set the timer for ten minutes, and let it all cook through.  Add in a handful of chopped parsley, and let it wilt.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Scoop out a big steamy bowl, and drizzle with a bit of the sesame oil (I like extra dark toasted sesame oil) and soy sauce.  Grab a magazine, head for the sofa, and slurp it up.

Totally worth the ten minutes in the kitchen, even when you're not feeling well.

I'll let you know if it cures me by 6pm!


P.S.  Being sick sucks.  But there has to be an up side.

P.P.S.  This is a manageable sickness - just a stupid bug that's going around, and I can manage.  If you're really sick - like MS or ALS or cancer - then please know that right now I'm thinking of you and wishing you health.

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