Wednesday, September 07, 2011

The Joys of Invalidism

 I've been feeling under the weather lately.  It's nothing serious, but a horrible combination of stress, changes in medication and the dreaded dissertation have merged to create the perfect storm.  Obviously, the timing isn't convenient for me. Yet it's times like this when it does me good to remember there is always a bright side to be found.

Let's look at my recent holiday in Italy to illustrate my point.  I was having a wonderful time being a tourist in various Italian cities only to be struck with a fierce cold when I reached Rome.  I'd been waiting all my life to visit Rome, and I had a cold!  

After taking it easy for one day I decided to dig back into sightseeing.  My Italian travel buddy Tanya and I visited the Roman cemetery where the poet John Keats is buried.  We indulged our imaginations and engaged in a melodramatic photo shoot.  Keats, for those who are uninformed on the subject, had traveled to Italy in hopes of improving his health but passed away from tuberculosis shortly afterwards.  Seeing how Keats and I were both Roman invalids, it seemed like a great idea for Tanya to snap a few pics of me standing next to his grave looking ill. 

It was a hilarious and delightful moment I might not have experienced had I been in the best of health.  And you know, this was my favourite day of the trip.  I think -- it's hard to decide when you've spent ten days in Italy. 

So while I'm feeling crappy at such a crucial time it's nice to remember all that's awesome in my life.  Yes, dissertations are stressful, but how lucky am I to be in a position where I get to write one -- and on a topic entirely of my choosing!  I attend a wonderful university that has been most sympathetic to my struggles, I'm surrounded by incredible friends, and my beloved family members are only a phone call away.

I am also comforted by the thought that if I become truly desperate I can always stage another tragic author photo shoot.  The possibilities would be endless.  

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