By Sunny Simon

Lying on my back with a throbbing headache I wondered why I spent weeks ignoring the signs. Obvious notices were posted all over town. Every supermarket with a pharmacy offered flu shots. The process probably took all of ten minutes but I chose to bypass this preventative measure. As a result, I spent some time paying the price. My week consisted of demolishing two boxes of ultra soft, strong Kleenex, a bag of cherry cough drops, a tube of Airborne tablets, and aspirins in abundance. I consumed countless cups of green tea and sipped on multiple bowls of chicken soup.

My only action of the week was to clear my calendar. Sadly that meant canceling three holiday parties I was looking forward to and rescheduling coaching sessions. Trying to look on the bright side, I thought I would spend my sick time catching up on my reading. That lasted about ten minutes as an aching head and rheumy eyes are not conducive to absorbing the written word. The only thing left was mindless TV programming. Indeed, I plugged into silly sitcoms as I could not wrap my mind around anything with substance.

It finally dawned on me in my bedroom with no outside contact other than the company of my loyal dog Zoli and my darling husband delivering TLC and sick room supplies while carefully keeping his distance, I could indulge in some desperately needed planning time.


As a life coach, I should know this. I am always urging others to block out quiet time in December to review the past year focusing on achievements, measuring progress and identifying gaps. Aha! I had the perfect setting for this – peace, quiet and no distractions. When I felt well enough I grabbed my tablet and started making notes. Next I put on soft music and started brainstorming conjuring up ideas on meaningful milestones I wanted to achieve in the coming year. I visualized the end result, then notebook in hand again I broke it down into bite sized pieces and distributed my action items along a timeline.

When the process was completed I experienced a peace and comfort in spite of my red, raw Ruldolph-like nose and aching limbs. Giggling I thought of the silly old expression my grandfather always preached: “You cannot make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.” Sorry, Grandpa, you can. Even an A/California/7/2009(H1N1)pdm09-like virus, this year’s flu du jour, can be used to create a master plan for an exciting new year.

Sunny Simon is the owner of Raise the Bar High Life and Career Coaching. More about Sunny at

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