Pneumonia, Purposefulness, and Pausing

*For the sake of alliteration in the title please pronounce the P in Puh-new-mow-nee-ah.

A few weeks ago I got Pneumonia. It wasn't too horrible... as long as I was laying on the couch, not moving. I would think that I was doing better. "I'm still a little sick." I would think to myself. "But maybe I am doing well enough to go back to work tomorrow." Then I would try to move.

If I needed to get a drink or grab some food from the kitchen it turned into a major journey. Just sitting up on the couch would leave me more breathless than any game of Ultimate Frisbee I had ever played. I would have to stay seated and catch my breath. Standing up would necessitate catching my breath again. Even though the kitchen isn't far from the couch (maybe 16 feet couch to sink) I could only walk halfway before needing to take a break. I would lean on the wall for support and start to debate my reasons for getting up. How much do I really want whatever it was I had gotten up for? What if I just turned back now and went to the couch, maybe even the loveseat, it is closer. After catching my breath and renewing my resolve I would press on towards the kitchen. Once in the kitchen a quick stop to rest, grab whatever I needed and then start the equally arduous journey back to the couch, pausing again in the middle and practically collapsing on the couch.

My sick brain wasn't really working properly so it took longer than it should have for me to realize I that I really should try to maximize the effectiveness of these trips. Eventually before each trip I would think "How desperately do I really need that?" "If I am getting up what else should I get?" "Is it really worth it or should I stay on the couch?" "Should I just wait a little bit until I have to go to the bathroom?"

All too often we rush through life without thinking about what we are doing or why we are doing it. It took pneumonia to make me slow down and pause. I was forced into having one of the most purposeful weeks of my life. Every move, every decision, every option carefully and thoughtfully weighed. Sure, maybe my decisions about whether not to get snacks weren't as paramount or momentous as other decisions I have made in my life, but at the time they definitely felt like it.

Every decision we make has consequences, for good or for bad. Every time we say yes to something we are effectively saying no to something else. It's good every once in a while to take a step back and think about what have become the patterns in your life. Are they beneficial? Are they worth the time you are devoting to them? Are they crowding out other more important things?

I am certainly not suggesting you get pneumonia, but maybe try take some time this week to pause. Think about where you are spending your energy. Are you being purposeful about it.