Gratitude Spiral: Day 187

Today, I’m grateful for the continued health of my family in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.

As I text, call, and meet via Zoom with my children, my parents, and my extended family, I’m thankful that they’re all staying safe and well. I miss the monthly family dinners with my kids. And I always wear a mask and keep my distance when helping my parents these days. But I can’t complain, knowing that they’re all healthy. Someday, we’ll be able to be together again without so many precautions and restrictions.

What are you grateful for today?

Gratitude Spiral: Day 130

Today, I’m grateful for my sewing machine.

It’s been around for a few decades and hasn’t gotten much use lately. But here it is, all ready for me, just when I feel the need to make a few face masks. πŸ™‚

What are you grateful for today?

Gratitude Spiral: Day 129

Today, I’m grateful for petroleum jelly.

I don’t know about anybody else, but days and weeks of diligent hand-washing have left my hands dry and chapped. Last night, I resorted to a trick from my childhood: I covered my hands in petroleum jelly for the night. When I was little, I’d do this and wear white gloves to bed. Last night, I put an odd pair of socks on my hands instead. And oh, how soft my hands felt this morning!

What are you grateful for today?

Gratitude Spiral: Day 92

Today, I’m grateful for access to good dental care.

Don’t get me wrongβ€”I’ve had my share of cavities, tooth abscesses, and root canals. But I still have a decent set of teeth, thanks to lifelong access to dentists. Those of us who’ve managed to keep most of our teeth for decades can sometimes take them for granted. But, really, what a blessing.

What are you grateful for today?

Gratitude Spiral: Day 71

Today, I’m grateful for strong, healthy bones.

The other day, I was driving through a parking lot and passed two different people bent with apparent osteoporosis. One of them was bent at nearly a right angle, facing the pavement as he walked, unable to look up. It made me appreciate my healthy spine so very much!

What are you grateful for today?


Gratitude Spiral: Day 33

Today, I’m grateful for water.

It’s beautiful in this lily pond, but that’s not really what I’m thinking about. I’m thinking about drinking water. So much attention is given to the fact that we should drink six to eight ounces a day for optimal health. Yet in many parts of the world people are lucky to get a single cup of clean water in a day. How precious this resource is! And I’m thankful to be blessed with access to it today β€” and each day.

What about you?

Gratitude Spiral: Day 30

Today, I’m grateful for my health.

In the past week, one friend suffered a stroke, another was diagnosed with stage three liver cancer, and my sister broke her ankle when the sidewalk crumbled beneath her feet. Our health and well-being are not guaranteed. Rather, every day is a blessing.

What are you grateful for today?

Gratitude Spiral: Day 3

Today, I’m grateful for my two good, healthy legs. Each morning, I slide out of bed (a sort of dismount from my unusually high mattress) and land on my feet. My legs carry me down a flight of stairs to breakfast. Then, I challenge them to a bit of stretching and a thirty-minute walk. What a blessing they are. πŸ™‚

What are you grateful for today?

Hey! It’s Your Body Talkin’ . . .

As I sit at my keyboard with an icepack numbing my upper arm, I reflect on the curious idea that we spend so much of our lives ignoring our bodies’ gentle communications. We don’t pay attention until they scream at us. And then we have the audacity to blame them for getting old!

You know the joke:

“Dr., Dr., it hurts when I do this!”
“Then, stop doing it!”

Well, it’s no joke. My own doctors and physical therapists have said it to me many times in the past couple of years. I’ve been dealing with shoulder issues (rotator cuff tears, frozen shoulder, bursitis). No surgery, just lots of office visits where I’ve been told to go easy on myself. Healing takes time. And it requires learning to listen to your body. Right? But we resist. We grow impatient. Why? Because we operate under the impression that we shouldn’t have limitations. That life should be fair. That our bodies should be perfect (if not in looks, then at least in health πŸ˜‰ ). And we complain when they’re not. Like someone’s made a huge mistake inflicting us with injury and disease.

But that’s real life. Messy, constantly challenging, stressful. And each of our unique bodies has its own way of acting, reacting, adapting, and coping. If we pay attention, we notice subtle cues from our own bodies that can lead us to cooperate with, instead of hinder, their healing abilities. Even in the middle of debilitating illness or injury, we can work with or we can fight the process. One path requires patience, perseverance, and awareness. The other path is easier in the short term: impatience and ignorance. But this way doesn’t bode well in the long run.

So, after scraping, chopping, and shoveling a few crusty inches of snow out of my driveway β€” mostly using my good arm, of course β€” for over an hour, I’m dutifully icing my shoulder. And hoping my body appreciates the attention. πŸ™‚