January disappeared. The month was a non-starter. I welcomed in the new year on January 1st and then succumbed to the flu on the 2nd. It was quite the flu this year. For over three weeks, I laid on the couch, in bed, on the floor... In some ways, I'm still recovering.
I experienced a new symptom with this flu -- severe dizziness. It came in a second wave, after I'd recovered from the fever, aches and stuffiness. When I thought I was on the road to recovery, I left the house and helped a friend move some furniture (actually, my furniture which she is being generous enought to store for me). Well, that did me in. The next day I couldn't stand up without feeling like I would topple over. Not for five seconds. If I did force myself to stand up, nausea overtook me. Back to the couch I went.
I always look for the upside to any situation. The upside of the flu is that you have the excuse -- nay, the luxury -- to watch entire seasons of shows on demand. I spent hours engrossed in the first two seasons of Homeland. I can definitely say I got hooked, and I was sad when I ran out of episodes. Next, I watched two seasons of Kidnap and Ransom, a British mini-series type of show. Then Hit and Miss about a British (hard to tell because the lead actress is American trying to do a British/Irish accent) trans-gender contract killer. At this point, I noticed that all the "must-watch" series centre around killing. What gives?
In the midst of the gun control debate in the U.S., here I was, a captive audience, spending up to 12 hours a day watching the news and TV shows about murder, terrorism and violence of every sort. It was enough to make me question our sanity. We are watching these shows as a form of escape. They are entertainment. The darkness, the revenge, the anger, the betrayal. This is how we relax?
At any other time, I would have turned off the TV after the first day or two and immersed myself in books. But the dizziness made reading, whether on a computer screen or in a book, impossible. My eyes could not handle the back and forth movement, and that meant my stomach couldn't handle it either. So all my plans to read and write during the grey month of January evaporated. That is the sure-fire downside to this flu. Two weeks after I "recovered," I am still dealing with the inability to focus on a screen or a written page for more than 15 or 20 minutes without having the dizziness return. I'm starting to wonder if vertigo, something I have never suffered from before, is my new fate.
I wave goodbye to January -- hey, I hardly knew ya -- and hope to get my year started in February. My mentor is eager for my next submissions, and I am eager to return to writing. It's been a very long winter break.