Swine Flu and Silver Linings

The swine flu finally hit our household.  My 10-year-old daughter Clara and I were just finishing up our Halloween shopping last Friday.  We’d managed to find the perfect Alice in Wonderland dress in only the third store we looked.  I was just breathing a huge sigh of relief that I wouldn’t have to stay up all night making a costume, when a small voice said,  “Mom?  I’m really tired.  I want to go home.”

I looked down.  The skin around Clara’s eyes looked bruised and the freckles stood out in her pale face.  We hurriedly made our purchase and drove home through the gloom.

By the time trick-or-treating time came around the next day,  Clara was down for the count.  Needless to say, she was disappointed.

So was I.  Disappointed for her sake (especially because I’ve been trying to convince her to be Alice for years – she makes a really good one!) and for my own.  That’s because I had been so looking forward to flying to Florida this week for the American Writers and Artists’ Copywriting Bootcamp – a conference just for direct response copywriters!  Not only would I get to attend lectures and workshops from some of the country’s top copywriters (including my hero, Dan Kennedy), I’d get to see fellow copywriters I’d met at last year’s Bootcamp, some of whom have grown to be dear friends.  But between my sick daughter’s need for Mom and the very mild but not-to-be-ignored muscle aches and fatigue I was experiencing I figured the only responsible thing was to stay at home.

Strangely, though, I’m not as bummed as I thought I would be.  Usually when faced with a major change in plans I’d get all riled up and upset inside before coming to terms with it.  But this time as soon as I started to feel that achey feeling, I made the decision not to waste energy fighting this.  Instead, I began to concentrate on  breathing deep, nourishing myself and going with the flow.

I’ve decided to use the unexpected time to catch up on loose ends, and to get a head start on some new copywriting work that recently came my way.  The week is going well, and I’m going about my work with a sense of peace and direction I haven’t felt in a long time.

The flu is still hanging around our house (my son and husband both came down withmild cases in the last couple of days), but life goes on.  And I think it’ll leave me something precious when it goes:  the ability to relax and go on with what needs doing no matter what is going on around me.