Testing times. In search of lightness…

It’s been heavy going the last few weeks. I lost touch with lightness. The song ‘You give me fever!’ kept playing in my head, over and over, as I did test after test trying to figure out the cause of my fever.

I had a fever for 10 days. I did at least 6 different tests. All of them came negative. While the test results were awaited I soldiered on. Doing what one does every day. Working. Home stuff. Family stuff. The fatigue was starting to show. Well-wishers kept telling me to take it easy. But with no test result to show, I was intent on going strong.

Anger bursts erupted and flared. Not entirely sure who or what I’m angry with. Maybe my fever was the cause of my ire. Maybe it’s the effect. Not knowing what the cause was… in effect, this was causing quite a lot of irritation. A dash of steam seemed to soothe things for a few minutes. My mind wanders. Unable to meditate. Pulled by ‘monkey mind’ here and there. Jumping. Trying to find a way to stay safe. To protect me from problems real and many imagined.

I tried to ignore it (the fever). Wish it away. Brave it. In the end, I just needed to lie down and let it wash over me. A full 10 days into my fever cycle, the second round of testing finally gave the dreaded “positive” and I was diagnosed and isolated. Not knowing was possibly the worst phase. Armed with a diagnosis, ‘a known, unknown’ as it turns out, I settled in for a good fight.

As I look back on this episode, I realise one simply has to listen to the body. It knows more than the mind. It has all the early warning symptoms wired in. When your body says slow down buddy – I better listen. Finally, the test result showed positive and I have decided to lie down and let the world zip by for a few days. Once I’m rested and retested I will jump back into the fray. Till then. I intend to get by on a daily diet of Steam. Meditation. Netflix. Family and gratitude.

I had been counting the days till wifey would be allowed out. Now I am just counting sheep trying to fall asleep. I count my blessings too. Gratitude is a good friend and a reminder. Much to be thankful for. However, the emotional roller coaster sets in. “What if this happens…, what if that happens…” scenario mapping. Plan A and then plan B. And then I grow tired and lie down again. Que sera, sera. Whatever will be will be.

I-solation. This fever teaches you a thing or two about being alone. For starters, it takes a village to cure the fever. Community support is so crucial. Family. Caregivers at home. Warm food. Condominium family. Medical support systems. The folks who bravely enter a quarantine home to take blood tests and samples. Another set arrived to administer a daily injection. Chemists delivering around the clock. Work-family. Friends who stood tall. And through it all, four walls for company. Time to think. To reflect on what’s important.

The key to it all seems to be to find a way to remain playful and light. Even when the fever goes high and the heart grows heavy. This is another week in my life. I must live it as well as I can. Be my best, even when my body is not. Awareness about how I am responding to this. Catching myself when I get irritable. Allowing myself to feel. It is a privilege to be able to walk through this and come out the other side.

And on that note, let’s end with some music lyrics to lighten things up. My favourite is the Michael Buble version…

“You give me fever when you kiss me

Fever when you hold me tight

Fever in the morning

A fever all through the night


Ev’rybody’s got the fever

That is something you all know

Fever isn’t such a new thing

Fever started long ago”

I am just one more drop in this ocean of fever that has engulfed the world. The quiet seeks to nourish me. For a short while, the ‘doing’ pauses. The ‘being’ burst forth. Just being. Being quiet. Being with my thoughts. Being my awesome self. And in this quiet. New ideas or the beginnings of them are born. New dreams are dreamt. Being and doing. When both find their balance there is beauty. Like a tree sheds its leaves in winter and rests getting ready to give to the world its beautiful fruits and leaves. This is the cycle of life. Who called? Who cared? How does it matter?

Stillness, in search of lightness and just like that I see the light again I touch it. I am ready to spread some in the world. Just being is sometimes doing. Testing times often shine a light on the path forward. I look forward to sharing some of the lightness with others whose paths mine will merge with mine in the days ahead. Light at the end of the tunnel. Lightness. ‘De-lightful’ to be in touch with some of it again.

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Nikhil Dey
Nikhil Dey is Executive Director, Adfactors PR.

A trusted coaching and communications professional, Nikhil Dey is a certified life and leadership coach (International Coach Federation - ICF). Nurturing talent and helping clients achieve their goals is what makes him happy. He loves learning from students of communication, teaching courses and guest lecturing at various educational institutions. When he is not working you will find him on the tennis court or out for long walks with his family and four legged friends.

Previously he has held senior leadership positions at Weber Shandwick and Genesis BCW.

He can be reached on twitter @deydreaming

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