The Thing We Take For Granted
By Z Zoccolante
Sometimes we only appreciate things when they’re gone. Take health for example. If we feel relatively fine then our minds tend to get caught up with other daily tasks.
If, on the other hand, we’re sick, none of those other things seem to matter much. Of course, they still stress us out because them loom before us on our to do list. But the truth is that most of us would live our lives differently if we knew we only had a finite time to live – let’s say one more week, or one more month.
My friend and I had that conversation. If you only had one more year to live would you live in the same way, I asked? Hell no, she said, I’d be doing things completely different. And then she laughed because that was her answer. How do I get my life to resemble my dream life a little more?
Some things are important. We can’t just be like Office Space and say that we don’t like working anymore and we’re not going to go in, or that we don’t really like paying bills anymore and we’re not going to do that either. We still have to exist in reality, but it can be a clue as to what our hearts really desire. It can be a clue as to what we might alter to live our best, happiest lives.
This past week I got food poisoning. I laid on my couch like a slug on valium and watched hours of TV, barely able to move, uncomfortable, and wanting desperately to feel normal again. The next day my stomach hurt and my kidneys felt like someone played punching bag with them. Google is not recommended to view your symptoms because then I think I’m dying.
I make a Dr’s appointment and want to push the old man out of the way in line as he’s taking his sweet time talking about how he remembers when this hospital was built. I crouch down on the floor wanting to tell him to shut up. Pain makes me mean. When I see the Dr. he’s so kind and tells me I’m not dying and it’s simply food poisoning. Relief. I can handle that. I can wait this out as long as I know it’s nothing worse.
I breathe deeply as I walk through the parking lot bent over as though one of my vertebrae wants to be a candy cane. When I finally make it home, I’m exhausted and I think about all the people in the world who are in chronic pain everyday and where going out of their house to do a simple errand is utterly draining.
I think about how for most of my life I’ve had great physical health and I think about how I only think about this when I’m sick. Most of the other times I take for granted that I feel well, that I’m healthy.
Without our health, nothing else really matters. We could have a bazillion dollars in our bank account, houses galore, things, even great friends, but if we’re in pain it’s hard to enjoy them.
If you are in mental or physical pain see if there’s a way to heal. Take care of yourself. Be compassionate and kind to yourself. Ask for help. If you have something in your life that is possible to address, like an addiction, address it. Get help so your mind is not suffering and your body’s not hurting.
And when we are healthy be thankful. Let’s remember before we go on with our days, that health is a gift. Our bodies are gifts. Our minds are gifts. Let’s appreciate them every day in little ways.
*And check out a new episode of the Throwing Up Rainbows Podcast Season 2 here.
*New episode of the Throwing Up Rainbows Podcast Season 2 here.