Have you ever had “stomach flu?”  Gastroenteritis–man it’s the $#!*$.  I got it again this weekend, and I must say…makes you feel like dying.  President Zachary Taylor died of gastroenteritis in 1850.  You’re probably thinking, “No S#*T!,” but believe me he gave more than he had…I speak from experience.

Now this post isn’t about my horrid weekend.  It’s about what I call perspective balancing.  Sometimes we take life for granted–we get all high on ourselves, thinking this or that was built for us specifically (whatever our own personal this or that’s happens to be at any given time).  Let’s just say we might even believe that our $#!T doesn’t smell.  And that’s when life teaches us otherwise.

No, no, no…I don’t believe we get gastroenteritis to teach us any metaphysical lessons.  But what I know for sure is that when you are curled up on the couch…alone…writhing in severe pain…wanting to puke at every Jack in the Box commercial that comes on the tube, but you have no strength to even reach over to the remote and turn that crap off (no pun intended…well, okay, maybe just a little)…there is a strange little mind thing that occurs…you realize you ain’t all that, and it could be Zachary-Taylor-time any day, any hour, any minute.  And it makes you realize…all the crap you worry about, all the crap you think you are doing or NOT doing…really doesn’t matter because…well, anything beats gastroenteritis…even a root canal.

Perspective balancing is what happens as you writhe in pain from gastroenteritis, and even more so when you stop.  The sky looks brighter, the birds sound more cheerful, everyone is your brother–better than LSD, I tell ya–you gotta try it sometime.  But heed my warning: it’s definitely not for the faint at gut.

*Thank you’s to Jen R. for inspiring this piece with her question, and to foodborne illness for making me see the light (hallelujah, free again!)

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