Tea and citrus got me through my week with influenza. When I got sick, I immediately cut myself off from the world and settled in for a week of quiet recuperation. I didn’t have much of an appetite during my bout with the flu, but fluids perked me up. Warm lemon water with honey soothed my throat, sparkling water quenched my thirst, and hot tea gave me warmth and comfort.
Being sick and alone is boring. I hadn’t experienced boredom in years, and so it was odd to get reacquainted with this sensation that I knew so well as a child. I binge-watched The Crown—a welcome distraction. But my mind was too cloudy to read, my voice too shaky to call friends. I spent most of the week wrapped in blankets and scarves, sipping tea.
I’ve long understood that silence is productive, and I now see that boredom is too. Expansive, quiet minutes slid into hours and days. I stumbled upon empty corners of my mind that didn’t house thought. My internal chatter slowed, my anxious mind relaxed, and for a time, I stopped thinking. Spacious boredom replaced my drive to achieve.
The flu drained me, yet my week of isolation revived me. Tea and water were life-giving and clearing, and so too was boredom’s hollow loneliness.