When life becomes small

When life becomes small

Hi folks!

Maybe I jinxed myself last week, writing about “Thanksliving” and being grateful for the small things in life like a good night’s sleep or a cup of fresh coffee. Both seem like massive luxuries now. After a truly abundant Thanksgiving with my family—all together for the first time in four years—life shrank quickly.

I got sick.

feast-editedWe’d feasted on our favorites, including our family’s signature stuffin-muffin’s and my mom’s secret cranberry-apple casserole; Life was good on Thanksgiving Day. That night, I binged watched movies until 3 a.m. with my California time-zoned son and topped off the evening with air-popped popcorn (it is wrestling season) with parmesan cheese (he hydrated well afterwards) and a smidge of melted butter (it was a holiday).

The next day I woke with a horrific headache and vile stomach churnings. Suddenly, life became very small, a tiny cycle of survival—doze, try to drink, try to eat, breathe, doze. And for the first six hours, I could only manage the breathing part.

Inhale slowly. Exhale slowly.

Try not to throw up.


I didn’t want to make any demands of my body other than what was minimally necessary. Life became a very simple, reduced to binary thinking—on or off. Yes or no. No gray.

My gut ruled.

Three saltines in a Ziploc stared at me for 24 hours before I would dare open the bag and risk trying to nibble on one. Ginger ale sounded good but it, too, stood watch as my tummy vetoed it. Water wasn’t appealing one bit, but somehow hot tea was.

So I sipped tea and I breathed, hoping the next hour would be better in my very small world. Looking back, Franklin D. Roosevelt words captured my thinking at that moment:

When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.

Forget gratitude. It was all I could do to hang on!

Yet once again, as I’ve experienced so many times in my life, I was amazed at what becomes precious once you lose it. Yes, my plans evaporated—but the time already spent didn’t. I cherished those memories, but still had to keep moving in that awkward recovery pace, missing goodbye hugs and kisses as my family headed back to that left coast.

I’m still hanging on but my world has enlarged a little and I am grateful for that. I’ve graduated to the BRAT (Bananas Rice Applesauce Toast) diet but still haven’t had my morning Starbucks (who am I now?) in almost a week.Blakely-small-world-cheer Thank heavens I have a fresh photo of Blakely Faye to cheer me on!

How about you? Are you hanging on to the end of your rope in a small world? What cheers you on?

I’d love to know.

My best—always,


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  1. Going ‘off road’ with your health really sucks big time. I get like this if I lapse back into eating a ‘normal’ diet. You explain the experience very well here – it really does take you down to a very basic relationship with life where the simplest things – (like keeping breathing!) are all you can do. Hope you are feeling better now.