what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for

I’m on #gratitude setting. That’s when perceptions come that might not have previously occurred to me, or that I know haven’t previously occurred to me.

I was feeling anxious about my annual gynecological exam today. Most people aren’t particularly excited about this sort of thing; some of us actively feel fear because it’s invasive as hell. But then I realized how grateful I was I had access to healthcare. How grateful I am we can afford basic health services. How grateful I am for my health, and for what will likely be another report of “normal” (I recently had my blood tested re: diabetes and cholesterol, both came back healthy). I have some experience dealing with grave illness; today, I get to enjoy life unencumbered. It is an invasive procedure, but not a destructive one; and far less invasive than what I’ve been through and what could be my reality any other day.

I realized I am grateful for my illnesses in the past – specifically, mental, spiritual, and emotional illness. The memories of these experiences remind me what a wonderful life I have access to today. There was a time in my life it was not possible for me to be relaxed, or have courage. There was a time in my life other people’s actions disturbed me a great deal. It is only the memory of those difficulties that keeps me humble, thankful, and grateful to the Spirit that sustains me.

I’ve also been nicer to my children. I realized the other day I can get so tense at times when things go wrong (well you know – “not my way”), when they’d fight or treat someone rudely in public. When I reflected on this tension of mine and wrote it out, I realized it was that old chestnut: resentment. Resentful at the job I get to do, as a parent, a job I agreed to and a life I’m so happy to have. If my child is crying because he fell down or a child is hitting her brother because she’s not been eating all day and she’s overwhelmed, it’s my job to help them. I have access to this at any point in my day. I need to remind myself of this access, believe it or not. Just because parenting has been hard work and consistent work for a decade, doesn’t mean I sometimes forget, and sometimes try to pretend I didn’t say Yes to the deal, and demand Everyone Else behave so I don’t have to deal. It’s pretty funny when you think about it.

I realize I am so grateful to have Ralph and the children in my life. This won’t always be my reality. Should I live long enough, the day will come when I am separated, either for a time or permanently, and I will miss them and look back and want to know I lived this time to it’s fullest.

So with that, I’m off. To enjoy the family I have, the body I have, the life I have.


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