As a culture, we sure do value efficiency. Why do a thing slowly when you could do it faster? At work, we constantly tout efficiency as one of the major selling points for many of the new features: “Do this task faster and more efficiently than ever!” (No, we never use exclamation points. Never.)

But there’s no recovering efficiently. I learned this when I was recovering from pneumonia. The first time I got pneumonia, in December 2016, I tried to push through to resume my normal activities as soon as possible. Months later, I still coughed and struggled.

So when I came down with pneumonia again in late April 2018, I didn’t fight it. I went to the doctor, took my antibiotics (two rounds; see also: My most terrifying nightmare of living in a world with no antibiotics), and rested for a full month. Then I slowly worked my way back up, and trained, and by October 2018 rode Levi’s Gran Fondo strong.

In terms of recovery, so far this surgery feels like a cross between pneumonia and having a baby. Pneumonia drains your energy so you want to just sleep all the time. Childbirth leaves you physically in pain in specific places (ahem) but the rest of you feels okay, and you have periods where you feel pretty normal.

Much as I might want to get through this seemingly interminable period of healing, I’ve learned that I can’t rush recovery. Resting more now will give my body time to recover more quickly than if I try to push through things now, so I’m just… waiting. Napping a lot.

But in between naps and periodic breaks to take embarrassingly short, slow walks, I’ve taken advantage of the coloring book and markers Colleen sent. Benji helped me with the first page; I did the other two while they were gone. You can imagine me propped up on a ton of pillows in bed, listening to Pandora on my Surface, and coloring in tiny details of mythical creatures.


There are worse ways to kill time. Like watching Knight Before Christmas, for example.

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