OK, maybe “fortunate” is too strong a word. I would rather not repeat this experience, thank you very much. But most of you know I believe a positive attitude—not starry-eyed naïveté, but realistically positive attitude—helps us in every kind of human endeavor, including our dealings with other people.

So, while I was staying home with the flu anyway, I decided to brainstorm all the positive aspects of this situation. 

First, comparing my symptoms with what I’ve read about typical flu symptoms, their severity and duration, I realized it was not for nothing that I got a flu shot as usual this season. I had a much milder case than I’ve heard others describe.

Next, I’ve not been getting as much work done on the new book as I would like. I look ahead at what appears to be an almost free week, and before I know it, I have some kind of appointment every single day of that week. Having to reschedule an entire week’s worth of appointments to rest at home enabled me to finish at least a rough draft of one of the most challenging chapters of the book.

Yet, I also had an excuse to sit around and watch plenty of TV and movies, while still getting more work done on the book than I have in a month.

I’m a naturally curious person, and always like learning new things. This week, I’m learning new things about the flu. There are different kinds of flu. Type A is the one that can be carried by birds and animals and which evolves quickly, so that the vaccine for it has to be changed every season. Type B is only passed from human to human. Type C is a milder form of flu. 

Flu is passed primarily by inhaling tiny droplets of moisture that emerge from other people’s mouth’s when they sneeze, cough, or even just talk. To a lesser degree it can be passed by handling the same objects or surfaces as an infected person. But, surprisingly to me, flu germs actually stay viable longer on hard surfaces, such as metal, hard plastic, or wood than they do on porous surfaces such as cloth or tissue.

I learned that flu is contagious even before the carrier begins to show symptoms. In my Yahtzee group, Saturday night, everybody felt just fine until we were finished. One member only noticed when she was about to leave that she felt cold. Within the next two days, every one of the rest of us had the flu.

I learned that, when I washed the digital thermometer (which I learned I should not have done), it magically changed from Fahrenheit to Celsius.

Finally, I had been stymied for a blog topic, and the flu provided.

Getting back to my opening point, after laying out all these fortunate aspects of the flu, I have found myself more patient, less likely to allow the first thought that popped into my head to come out of my mouth when I heard or read of something that ticked me off.

How about you? Have you ever had an experience that one would normally consider totally negative, and yet, come away with positive results? Did those results include more productive dealings with others? Let us hear about them!