We get challenged daily. Whether it be at work, in our family, in our friend circles, or even just taking the metro, there are challenges surrounding us constantly.
We are unconsciously aware of this and have adapted our way of behaving to fit and respond to those challenges so well that they are just what we call “uncertainties of life”.
Yet there are those challenges which fall on us so unexpectedly they have an almost inconceivable impact on us.
One of those is sickness.
There is no “getting ready” when it comes to diseases and whether it is a small one like the flu or a bigger one like cancer, it impacts your life greatly.
Obviously, the impact varies between diseases due to their differences in importance. The flu lasts for a week for instance while cancer may take years or even until you pass away.
I have had a small flu combined with an incredible toothache since last weekend. This, combined with the last days of my flatmate who left yesterday and a colleague who came for a week, has strained me incredibly.
Wish to eat: gone. Wish to drink: gone. Wish to study: gone. Basically we could say that the motivation to do anything is gone.
I have succeeded (so far) in keeping my rhythm as far as my habits go. I have noted however that there are some of them which I have been able to keep up with more easily than others.
Those are what I like to call the “fixed habits”. They are those habits which are written in stone, which, unless something extraordinary happens, will happen at the exact same time or time-frame every single day.
There are two types: the ones stuck to a specific time and the ones for which the time it happens is related to some other action.
For instance, every day at 5:00 pm you may pick up your daughter from school, every day at noon you may leave for lunch and so on. Those are stuck to a specific time.
For the second case, this can be how 5 minutes after waking up you take a shower, 10 minutes before sleeping you prepare your clothes for the next day, and so on.
In my case, my lifestyle and mindset have pushed me to create mostly this second category of “fixed habits” and those are proving to work wonders.
While I did make a habit of writing and am trying to keep it to every single morning, simply going out a bit too late the previous day or having my girlfriend over will ruin this time for me to write. For this reason, I have been moving it around as need be in order to keep everything smooth in my daily life. Yet, because of this regular change, being sick for the past few days has made me push writing until almost the last moment of the day.
On the other hand, my habits of writing my diary and learning one sentence in Burmese when I wake up, following this with some push-ups; the action of listening to the French news while going to the station the first time of the day and of reading a small article in Korean on the train have stood the test of sickness without even flinching.
Those, and especially my diary and Burmese study, have been so extremely easy to hold on to that I have found myself astonished at how much part of me those have become.
Obviously, I am not sick enough to be completely unable to do anything so this cannot be fully compared with a serious disease that would prevent you from doing anything but such unexpected challenges allow us to get a different perspective on our actions and handle of our life.
While I hate having my teeth hurt me so much, I am, in a way, thankful to this unexpected challenge, forcing me to push myself to my limits so that I can keep on improving myself.
Next time you are sick, try to find what stays the same and not only what couldn’t. This will allow you to see your daily life and mindset in a whole new way. And this is a great way to keep on creating a better version of ourselves.