Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Exercise and the Winter Blahs

We are in the dead of winter here in Seattle, which means it is also the dead of cold and flu season. With my blessings, my darling husband went away for a three-day ski trip with friends while I stayed behind with our sniffly 10 month old daughter. Well, as you might imagine, her little sniffles soon turned to a very nasty--and contagious--cold that put me under as well. Add to this "lovely" mix an ill-timed snow storm, and I found myself sick, alone, and stuck indoors with a sick baby. After three days of hibernating indoors, we were feeling a little better, though we were by no means fully recovered. I reminded myself that my daughter would not die if we walked to the playground and back. Though we were gone less than an hour, we returned home in improved spirits. When my husband returned that night, I could honestly say that I didn't begrudge him for going skiing and having fun without us. While I would have certainly appreciated his company and help over the weekend, he couldn't have magically made our noses drain any faster, suppressed our coughs, or eased our fatigue.

I share this story because I believe if we hadn't gone on that short walk, my mood would have probably been a lot worse when he came home. I might have tried to hold him responsible for my having a trying weekend at home, when really no one is to blame: It's just winter, and so sometimes we get sick and feel terrible. Despite "knowing" the truth in my head, a part of me may have wanted to make him feel guilty for leaving--a part of me that might have tried to pick a fight. Instead, I believe that, with exercise, another part--a better part--of me prevailed that night, and I'm happy to report we had a very enjoyable conversation about our weekends over a long, relaxed dinner. I hope that in the future that our evening together will serve as an important reminder that a little exercise for me can lead to a more harmonious and enjoyable family life.

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