Germs and karma have hand in New Year’s suggestion


I’ve had some time to think about my 2024 New Year’s suggestions. Resolutions are too formal. If these suggestions work, I’ll keep them. If not, it’s certainly easier to give up on a suggestion. Resolutions are too much pressure.

One suggestion I’m definitely going to follow in 2024 is to not write about middle-age spread like it is a bad thing. My last column about the spread and some ill-fitting clothing was not even in print yet when karma decided to teach me a lesson.

Ever since COVID, germs have become emboldened. They seem so much more powerful. Germs that weren’t a problem before are coming out of the woodwork and are trying to take over the world. They will find a way to your doorstep.

The past few weeks have been miserable as my husband Joe and I have both come down with the same germ. Was it that one grocery cart I didn’t sanitize? The trouble with germs is you never know they are everywhere.

These current germs weren’t messing around. They were here not only to destroy the entire holiday season, causing me to cancel out of many fun activities, but also I was feeling the effects of old age. I can remember being extremely sick with one germ or another when I was younger and thinking to myself that even though I was suffering, I would live through it and it was going to be worth it. I’d be healthy again and back to my normal life soon.

In your latter 60s, you have your doubts. As I lay there coughing and hacking, unable to breathe clearly, eat or even have enough energy to sit in a chair, I was feeling sicker than I’d felt for a long time. Even Joe was worried. “If I don’t feel better, take me to the hospital.” I had never made that request before. Maybe I should just cut out the middleman and report directly to the funeral home.

Joe took good care of us. He brought home meals, sometimes two at a time, so I didn’t have to cook, and he ran our errands. Fortunately, he didn’t get as sick as me.

I didn’t have COVID, but I still lost my sense of taste and smell. Always looking for the silver lining, I concentrated on enjoying my sense of texture. I was eating a delicious-looking sub sandwich. Oh, I think I’m biting into a piece of turkey. I can remember what turkey tastes like, so I’ll just insert that thought into my brain now. And add to that some tomato, green pepper and spinach.

Finally, I needed to go out one day and run errands myself. Joe was hungry for pizza. Now I’m thinking to myself I’m not going to be able to taste it. I would be good with any kind of pizza, but I get one of his favorite kinds because we really hadn’t had pizza for a while. Guess what? You can tell the better pizza with just your sense of texture because it has the crispy pepperoni that curls up at the edges, big chunks of vegetables and the cheese just has that delicious elasticity to it.

But what really did get me through the illness? Yes, it was the middle-age spread. If I hadn’t had that extra energy stored up, who knows what would have happened? I think spread should now be the latest health craze.

It’s good insurance against getting something horrible that keeps you from eating; that is certainly a positive. And if this year brings a little extra spread, I’m going to recognize it for the gift it is.

Thank you for reading my column and have a Happy New Year.

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