I have some news for you: The fall and winter flu season is not over. I know, because I just experienced 10 days of it.

At first, I thought it was a typical summer cold, just arriving a bit early. You know the symptoms – scratchy throat, sneezing, coughing.

My son had been under the weather for a day or two, and I was sure I had picked up germs while taking care of him. Plus, I had been on the go, non-stop, for weeks on end.

But ohhhhh, no. This was a different beast. Suddenly, I could barely keep my eyes open at work. I was cold. No, I was hot. No, I was cold. My feet were cold and my head was hot. My muscles ached. I was lightheaded.

I felt exhausted. All I wanted to do was sleep. And this from someone who has to force herself to go to bed by midnight!

So I left work early. That was on a Thursday. When I crawled into my bed about 4 p.m., it was the beginning of a sleep-a-thon. Over the next 48 hours, I was asleep for 36 of them.

I’ll spare you the details of the next eight days, but I do want to share a few lessons I learned. This time, I’m paying attention.

  • Listen to your body. Mine was screaming “STOP!” When I didn’t, it did.
  • When they say “rest,” do it. Rest is a wonderful, restorative thing. In this case, I had no choice but to sleep – I had no energy. With fever and chills at the same time, there was nothing to do but crawl into bed and stay. Thankfully, sleep came easily.
  • Pajamas are a gift from the gods of comfort and fuzzy socks are their required accessory. I lived in my p.j.’s for the entire 10 days.

(It should be noted, however, that over the past year, I have become accustomed to changing into pajamas immediately upon arriving home from work if I have no events that night. I think this is going to be the Next Big Thing for my demographic.)

  • Soup has magical healing properties, especially when it’s homemade. I’m not sure if it’s the love or the heat, but it seems to work every time.

I also learned a couple of important truths that will make a difference in how I do things from now on:

  • It is not imperative that I attend every event on the community calendar. My job takes me to many, many events. My friends and family take me to many others. I’m a very social person. Some of my Facebook friends tell me they live vicariously through my status updates and check-ins.

But for that 10 days, I did nothing. And it was okay.

  • The important things will eventually get done. Not everything will be perfect, but it can be acceptable.

The newspaper you’re holding in your hand (or viewing online) is proof. My normally two-week production schedule was crammed into one week. And look what happened! It got done. Maybe it’s because of all that energy I saved for 10 days.

Here’s the wisdom in a nutshell: If you’re sick, stay home in your jammies and take it easy. Your body might insist and knock you down.

Your friends and co-workers don’t want your germs anyway.