I have some friends who are pretty sick. Like, cancer and fighting-for-their-lives-at-a-ridiculously-young-age kind of sick. When it first started happening among my peers I totally panicked. I looked at these healthy, good, relatively young people and started falling victim to bad trains of thought- ‘if it happened to them, it could happen to anyone’ kind of thinking. No amount of healthy eating or exercise can chase away every demon. I got pretty freaked out and started feeling guilty and helpless. Offers to help or expressions of love are nice, but that’s not giving anyone back their old normal. Their illness takes over, becomes a central focus in their lives. A trap, of sorts. I didn’t know what to do.
But the one thing I keep hearing is to be grateful for what I have. Be grateful that I can use my body, still. Be grateful that I’m not exhausted to the point that I can’t get off the sofa. Be grateful that I can breathe and eat and sleep without problem. Be grateful that I have the luxury of time. Be grateful that I don’t have to fight for it, right now. Be grateful that I get to look forward to watching life unfold before me. Be grateful to be pain-free. What I really take from all of it is that I need to live this life. I need to take advantage of the opportunity of living. I need to not take my endless days for granted; I need to embrace them for the treasure that they are and make sure they count.
I watched this movie one time called About Time. In it, this young man finds out he can time travel. The story meanders emotionally from here to there, and oh my goodness, I love the movie and consider it one of my favorites, but the greater learning I took from it was about being intentional with time. He realized that it’s not the ability to do things over that matters, it’s the ability notice things and live so well, so whole, so purely and so in the moment that you don’t need to do it more or longer than what you’re already given. Time flies when I choose to put my head down and wade through it like a job. But when I intentionally take time to notice my world, observe the sky and smile at my second graders, cuddle my kids, all of the meaning I insert in my life seems to slow it down a little. Instead of bursts that skip by in a blur, I get many markers along the way that help me to categorize and remember my day. I forget, sometimes, to live intentionally, but today I’m reminded of my friends who don’t have the choice, right now, to use their bodies or treat their lives like they want to and I’m grateful to them for pointing out the obvious: today is a gift. Every day is a gift. This life is a gift and everything we get to do in it is something to be grateful for. I’m thankful for the privilege of my life and everything that comes along with it. I’m thankful to my two, living parents for giving me this life, for my husband for encouraging me to believe in myself so I can live it to the fullest, and my two children who provided the motivation for me to do everything I can to make it as long as possible.
Today I lived a bit of life at Zumba for 75 minutes with Emily. It was a fun class and I learned that I definitely need to work on my upper body strength. I get so tired when we have to do things with our arms and it accelerates my moments of exhaustion when we wave them over our heads and stuff. Clearly I need to build up some endurance and strength. She ended the class with Santa Baby, which was a big, funny surprise for me, and lastly, Runnin’- the song that I got all emotional over last time. Today I held it together better, but it’s funny that in context of the gym I get really goose-bumpy and girl-power over it. I managed to get all 10,000 steps in by noon, and then we took a walk out in the crisp air before I even got all of my Thanksgiving cooking steps in! It’s been a lovely day of celebrating with Lj four. It was perfect- a wonderful day of gratitude and Thanksgiving. I sincerely hope you can say the same and that you are able to find something to be grateful for as well. Happy Thanksgiving!