I never thought I’d say this, but I should’ve taken a picture of my breakfast this morning. 

Eggs, garlic, and power greens sauteed in avocado oil has become my standard breakfast. This morning, by pure accident, it turned out quite prettily. I also happened to have cuties in the fridge, so I peeled one of those and threw it on the plate, too. The bed of deep greens glistened, the bright orange mandarin slices were tumbled just so, the eggs had turned that perfect shade of white-golden… Combined with my mug of green tea, all in simple white crockery, well, it looked quite appetizing–like a magazine shoot for Real Simple or Mother Earth Living.

A pity I didn’t feel like enjoying it. 

I should go easier on myself. I should be focusing on the fact that I noticed it was a pretty plate. At times in my life I have been depressed enough to look at things (and people) of great beauty and not notice them at all. So I should be kind to myself right now, soft with myself. I should say to myself, “Hey! Nice job with breakfast! Who cares if it was an accident? Accidental beauty is no less than that arrived at through hard work. Enjoy. Be grateful that you can see it.”

But I’ve been home since Sunday with a sick kid. I haven’t slept properly in days. I’m already a week into a period that just won’t quit. I spent two entire days this week on the phone with various entities trying to get a single MRI properly scheduled and two other appointments canceled (“Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the American health care system at work. Don’t think for a second it’s going to get any better under Republican governance.”). I spent hours yesterday running errands, dragging my poor sick kid around, and I can’t tell from my inbox that I did a single thing. I missed helping on a tkd demo yesterday because of my sick kid, and I missed the demo today because I’m now running a fever.

I’m having a very hard time feeling anything but miserable. Even meditation didn’t help–I couldn’t stop crying (I’m alone in the house, of course. I can’t meditate with others present, and I try my damnedest not to cry when anyone else is around, either. It’s bad for morale. It’s also not a healthy substitute for meditation).

What makes it worse is that my “Iron Maggie” voice–the one that can always find something to yell at me about–is now yelling, “Suck it up, buttercup! You think there aren’t several hundred metastatic OM patients in the world who wouldn’t give everything to be where you are right now?! Appointments, period, pansy little virus and all?!”

Yeah. I can’t even allow myself a good cry. I always have to throw something big and nasty back in my own face.

So I really, really wish I’d taken a picture of my breakfast. It was pretty. It tasted good, too. It was one solid point in my favor against the various illnesses that are currently trying to get me. Folks would probably think I’m nuts to post a picture of my breakfast on WordPress, but at least that way I could’ve put something of beauty out into the world today, instead of shivering on my couch under too many blankets.

This post will have to do instead. 

Some days, I can take on the world. Some days, I can barely manage breakfast. Life is like that, no matter who you are or what your damage is. The trick is to be kind with yourself and others, no matter what the results of your day look like.

At least I have a picture of today’s results in my head. And despite it all, they’re pretty.