The Zombies Ate My Brains

Rescuing what might remain of the grey matter.

I Look Better on Paper

I’ve been saying “I look better on paper” a lot lately.

For instance, three months ago, during a panicky moment and a bout of “WTF-am-I-thinking?” thinking, I told Kate… “Um, I’m not so sure about taking on a leadership role in the Women’s Institute.” Without an edit button, I’m lost. I’m not polished when I speak, I hesitate, I stumble, I can hardly pronounce “extemporaneously” let alone speak that way.

“Not so fast,” she said. She wisely quoted my own words. “Make your job what you want it to be.” And that was a good thing and I recovered and I learned that, yes, I can do this. As long as I set boundaries, and delegate, I will be fine.

The other day, though, I received an invitation to speak at an annual area convention, in October. This opportunity came entirely due to my social media presence on Facebook. The writer said that she enjoyed my posts. Hoo boy. Show time. Or not. I haven’t decided.

Am I flattered? Sure, a bit, but I know that finding speakers is a challenge. Am I nervous? Nah, I’m good in front of crowds. I think. Do I want to find out? I’m not sure.

don't make

Rule 182 amended: and don’t make decisions when you are sick.

I’m not so sure of anything these days because I’ve been sick. I caught a bug, one that has set any number of my friends and acquaintances on their butts. Hard.

I haven’t done much this week except keep that aforementioned butt of mine on the big red comfy couch with a cat, my tablet and a box or two of tissues. My only obligation was writing a final exam on Friday. The poor proctor. She endured an earful of snorts and sniffles, croaks and chokes.

Saturday, yesterday, was the worst. I could finally collapse, and collapse I did. No pressures, no worries, no need to make a good impression for anyone. Ask the roofing guy when he returned to retrieve his sample book.

But on paper? Oh, the sun is shining and the skies are blue and thanks so much for your birthday wishes. What’s a fever of 102? Nothing a well-placed exclamation point or emoticon can’t vanquish.

Yeah, it was my birthday yesterday.

I hesitate to press “publish” on this one. It is not my intention to diminish the kind and thoughtful gestures expressed on Facebook. Nor do I want to appear pouty and cranky and attention-seeking, on paper. Heaven forbid I should reveal that immature, squalling, and cantankerous two-year old.

But an obsessive-compulsive trait is demanding that I paint the full picture. Since it is absolutely bad form to respond directly, “Yes, it’s a lovely spring day. But I’m sick.” or, “Oh, thank you for the lovely image. But, you see, I’m sick,” I am writing this post here on WordPress. Otherwise, one online friend will never know that she nailed her birthday blessing. She wished that my birthday be filled with zombies and flowers and candy and love. It was! It was! But I was sick!

computer games


Categories: Personal Growth

Tags: , ,

79 replies

  1. Aw. Yeah.
    I remember my birthday 2007. My birthday is never much of a big deal because it’s right around our Thanksgiving. But that particular birthday, my husband was deployed, my big kids were away on a trip, and my wee ones thought it was a good time to get scarlet fever. I was 800 miles from home, my local friends were all away to celebrate the holiday, and my FB friends were wishing me a happy birthday, and it was all I could do not to type, “Yes, it’s a great day, peeling skin from the baby’s feet.”
    The following day, my card from my mother arrived, and my father called thinking THAT was my birthday. But that day looks great on social media, I’m sure.
    Happy Belated Birthday. And more importantly, Get Well Soon. x

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad that you can understand. Times like this really drive home the… the what? fallacy? of friendship on Facebook. But no, that’s not it. For I don’t doubt the sincerity of anyone who stopped by to wish me well. Perhaps it’s more the fallacy of keeping up appearances. stiff upper lip, and all that. I dunno. But, as I say, I’m glad that you understand.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, Maggie! You are funny even when you are sick! I see you gave your blog a ‘facelift’ for your birthday. I think I skirted that well. Happy Birthday to you and I do hope you feel better.


  3. Happy birthday (perhaps belated?) and take the speaking opportunity. I do a bunch of public speaking and the best advice anyone ever gave me is to remind yourself that “these people came to hear me speak.” It’s a simple thing, but it makes you feel good and it makes you want to do a good job – and I’m sure you will. I hope you feel better soon.


  4. Happy birthday Maggie and I do hope you are feeling better soon 🙂


  5. You can’t get sick on/around your birthday…it’s against the rules. Take care of yourself, and indeed, don’t make decisions when you’re sick. ☺ Van


  6. Oh Maggie, i’m sorry for your ills. I do hope it’s not a bug that lingers long. Thank you fir posting; I miss you terribly. And happy yearlong good wishes even though the day itself wasn’t up to snuff!


    • Hi sweetie. Thanks for your kindness.

      I am peeved and mildly alarmed at taking ill twice now since December. This is after a three-year bug-free period. It’s either I’m more exposed to people and air-borne virus, or the viruses are more potent. Or both, I suppose.

      Another purpose of this post was to kick-start the blogging machine. I miss you and the regular company here.


  7. Maggie,
    Happy birthday SEASON. Don’t know how old you are but if you follow my birthday season rules (scroll down for the rules) you get an entire season of celebrating and no virus has every been known to last ones entire birthday season.
    Feel better fast so you can feel great at your speaking engagement!


    • I’m 59. And two days.

      Thanks for this work around. Funny, I googled “gargling” last night to see if it would help with my throat “issues”, you should pardon the double meaning. Now I see it will help with donut breath. Good to know!



  8. I’m glad to see that your humour is still intact and you have enough energy again to write a post!! The worst is over 🙂
    … time for some birthday cake … it has medicinal properties 😉


  9. Feel better soon…and happy birthday!


  10. Belated birthday wishes! I do hope when you are well again you will celebrate in style and make the most of feeling on top of the world. Glad to hear you are bravely facing the prospect of public speaking too!


  11. Oh boy, nothing worse than being sick on your birthday. Especially when everyone is sending unicorns and rainbows your way. I totally get it.

    Hope some cake and wine helped ease the blech of being sick a bit. Cheers!


  12. Well, it’s a year till you have to put up with another one!


  13. Do you also feel better on paper?

    Being sick on your birthday is sucky. I’d demand a refund.

    (Hope you feel better soon with two intact lungs. So good to see you pop up again.)


  14. No matter what our age, being sick on our birthdays is never fun. Then again, being sick at all isn’t fun. Hope you feel better soon, and a belated happy birthday to you. Best of luck with the speech in the fall. I understand the worry of tripping over our own tongues. It’s so much easier writing it down, isn’t it?


  15. I feel exactly the same way about looking better on paper. BTW, my birthday is a few days before Christmas which is sort of a huge relief. People are too busy with all the holiday hoop-la to even notice. I don’t have to endure too much attention! Having said that, Happy Belated Birthday and I hope you’re feeling better soon.


    • Hey Barbara – you know? Part of me knows that many of us all feel more comfortable in print and we marvel at others who appear composed and masterful. Of course, the key word there is “appear”.

      Some days, though, when internal resources are limited or nonexistent, you couldn’t convince me that I have anything to offer spoken or on paper. Like this past week. Ugh.

      Thanks for your well wishes!


  16. Happy belated birthday. Hope you’re feeling better. Take good care of yourself and keep on blogging in a free world – The False Prophet


  17. Grump. I suppose you were too unwell to post this YESTERDAY.
    But no matter: it’s never too late to say
    (1) H A P P Y B I R T H D A Y , M A G G I E !
    (2) Of course you can give that address. If you do, I bet you find you love it !!!
    (3) This illness, Maggie – are we talking ‘flu ? A virus ? What ?


    • Thank you, my dear. 😀
      This illness – most likely flu. Second bout of similar symptoms and duration since December, which is what annoys me and alarms me to, mildly. Shouldn’t I have an immunity from the last time? Scary, the way the different strains of virus are making the rounds.

      As for the speech, I am preparing my acceptance email. I figure if I’m going to stay awake at night composing the talk, I might as well present it!

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Nope. My image on paper sure doesn’t look any better than in the mirror. I’m still bald.


  19. Well, that’ll teach me to ignore the blogasphere… I had NO IDEA! Which of course is the point I know full well. I, too, look better on paper, as evidenced by my first ever vlog recently. Stick to the written word, Meliss’. Yes, indeed. Also, I just recently read (another?) blog about how the fb world is all rosy and cheerful when “behind the scenes” all manner of tragedy (or just general suckiness) is in full bloom. So, funny, when I cheerfully wished you a HBD, I was hoping to make it more “personal” than the average — knowing full well we’ve never met in person and how could I seriously hope to strike such a chord on such a special day for someone that I only know virtually. Stick to the written word AND trust your instincts, Meliss’, cuz your friend says you “nailed it.” I rock! So do you, so I was glad to see in the comments that you’ve accepted the invitation to speak. Will it perchance hit youtube? (hint hint) Trust you’re feeling better now since I’ve managed to arrive about 3 days late to this party. Also, sorry for the stream of consciousness comment, but I too am getting back into the writing habit so to speak and am thus out of practice editorially speaking. Oh, and THANK YOU for the link back… otherwise, I might NEVER have seen this at all! :>


  20. Wishing you continuous sunshine and a (late) Happy Birthday!!! Hope you are feeling all better by today.

    PS (Oh how I can relate… especially to that need to paint the full picture. 😉 )


    • Hey! Wonderful to hear from you! – I’m glad you can relate to the “need”.

      I’m still dealing with symptoms, but getting better. Two of my friends came down with the same flu/whatever. One put herself to bed for four days. The other gal, who has lung issues to begin with, was hospitalized with bacterial pneumonia!


      • Aww … So sorry to hear about your friends being ill as well. Especially having to go to the hospital! Hang in there! Sending good energy to all 😉

        (Speaking of hospitals… You reminded me that I had planned to write a medical post. I’m so frustrated with the system here. Curious about your opinion on quality of health care in Canada. 😉 )


        • That’s an interesting question since I spent the better part of my day in the waiting room of the emergency clinic. After four hours, I received medical attention and was prescribed Rx. All in all, a very good experience. AND. It does not cost me a dime. So that’s good. But the reason I had to go the clinic rather than to my family doctor is that I don’t have one. I used to. All my life. Then I moved to this town and found out there was a shortage. More or less province wide. Not a big deal for me (touch wood) because I’m lucky I don’t have too much to concern me medically. But I am not alone here. There a many, many families who count on emergency clinics to attend to their routine medical concerns.

          I am worried. I am aging, along with all the other baby boomers out there. Before long, I will need some sort of medical support. I am afraid to consider the quality of service if government funds aren’t allocated to accommodate the growing number “clients”, who, by the way, will not be working and therefore will not be contributing to the tax base.


  21. Hey Mag, happy (late) B-Day. :0) x


  22. Maybe it’s something in the air these days, eh! May we all get healthier and stay that way for a good long time! Much better to celebrate our attaining various impressive new birthday milestones and life adventures in much better fettle. Be well, be happy, and celebrate, my friend! 😀


  23. Happy Belated Birthday to You…, Happy Belated Birthday to You…, Happy Belated BIRTHday, dear Maggieeeeee…–…, Happy Belated Birthday to YOU!
    Glad you’re all better!
    You are trying to spin more plates at once than ever. Thus: More sicknesses than ever? Or:
    I may have something about this coming up in a post…

    Just like everyone else, glad you’re on your way back to us!
    🙂 🙂 🙂


    • You are adorable. Thank you.
      Not out of the woods yet, Babe. Get it? Babe in the woods? Yeah, it’s lame. But, I’m my own worst enemy these days, all self-absorbed and anxious about recent discoveries. I don’t have a doctor, so I hauled my sick and tired butt to the clinic whereupon they treated me most efficiently. So. What’s the problem? Well, upon taking my vitals I learn that my blood pressure is in hypertensive range. 157/100. Normally I’m 120/80- ish. A spike due to illness? How long will this spike last? Will Adam propose to Alicia? And what about Trent? Stay tuned. I’ve got a post in the draft file: “Is there a Doctor in the House?”

      Liked by 1 person

  24. I can believe that the emoticon for being sick would involve a Zombie vomiting up flowers and candy. Perhaps your friend just missed the mark by one small step? Condolences on a birthday less celebrated than survived. It truly feels like one has been cheated. Mine was less than stellar this year and I was still healthy for it. It truly sucks the fun out of the supposed day when a virus grabs you by the throat/head/chest, etc… Here’s hoping May flowers don’t bring hay fever as well.


  25. Oh gosh, Maggie, I’m reading backwards through your posts, having ignored you for ages, and I’m so sorry to read your … ummm … troubles? But I appreciate you sharing your real self. Life is not all smiles and wonderful rainbowed sunny skies and horrible days happen. It sounds like you have had more than your normal share! ❤ Chin up.



  1. Is There a Doctor in the House? | The Zombies Ate My Brains
  2. On a wing and a prayer | The Zombies Ate My Brains

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