I Need Sunshine, Warmth and, Apparently, a Nap

It’s amazing the difference a little sunshine and warmth makes.

We writers think we are creatures of the mind. We believe writing takes place independent of the bodies those minds are attached to. We build up this myth where words come from a diet of caffeine and bad habits, because all we need is what’s inside our head, not the plebeian demands of our neglected bodies.

It ain’t true. I can’t be the only one who’s noticed. I’ve been sick, you see – not a little under the weather sick, but the kind where you aren’t sure if you should be at home or on your way to the hospital. And then you are sure it’s almost over when it comes back. And you think it’s totally pneumonia but nooooooooo, there’s no rattle and it’s just a little congestion but you’re allergic to everything on the shelf at Walgreens. Oh, wait. That’s just me.

But that’s when I noticed. First off, nothing ruins a day playing hookie from work like actually being sick. I knew I had stuff to do. Not just work stuff, not just personal stuff, but writing stuff. And I would have done it, too, if it weren’t for that pesky need to breathe. Made everything take way more effort than it should have been. In other words, it took too much energy to think.

I was forcibly reminded that my mind is part of my body, and maybe I hadn’t been paying enough attention to the parts of me that aren’t responsible for thinking. Really, I’d been treating all those things I do for my body as a chore. They hardly felt worth the effort I spent on them, especially when there were all those other things I needed to do and wasn’t getting done. Now I realize I probably wasn’t doing them because I let myself get run down with stress, bad food, and too much caffeine. Then reached for more bad food, alcohol and binge watching Netflix to make it better. I just needed a little down time, I said to myself.

It wasn’t a little down time I needed. Decent food, yes. Uninterrupted sleep, yes. A shower that lasted more than 2 minutes. Oh, yeah. And some sunshine and warmth.

I hate winter, absolutely hate it. It’s cold, it’s wet, and no matter how many layers I wear the cold seeps in around the edges. Spring comes like a revelation. This spring, now that it’s finally taken instead of just toying with me, brought back my mind with it. A couple of afternoons of sunshine and above 70 degree temperatures and suddenly I have all sorts of energy. Breathing is still a little touchy, though. So I’ve been spending the weekend trying to balance my desire to delve into half-a-dozen projects with the fact that I’m not as over the bronchitis as it feels when I’m basking in the warm afternoon sun.

In fact, I should probably stop trying to write a profound blog post about the value of your body to the creative process. It sounded amazing in my head when I started writing, but now that i’m rambling into my text editor it kind of sounds like I need a nap. So maybe I should come back later, when my body feels good enough to form the though coherently. Time for profound realizations later, after I’ve taken care of the parts of me that don’t write blog posts.

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