the gratitude of non-permanence


I've spent this weekend practicing gratitude. Over and over, returning to gratitude.

I'm still sick (woke up feeling slightly better today, though: hooray!). Nothing earth shattering, just a sore throat, swollen glands, slight achiness and an inability to do much other than sit and walk around the house. I don't have strep. I don't have the flu. I can still eat, I'm not feverish. If I had to do something, I could do it, I just feel submerged. Underwater. Unwell.

I have a cold, in other words. An annoying cold, but a cold. And I really don't like being sick so my mind starts piling insult onto injury.

This weekend marked our first real heatwave of the summer. And we have not yet succumbed to the temptation to reinstall our (2) window a/c units. So, without a/c, here I've been, a feeling-sorry-for-myself blob on the couch, sweaty and lethargic, but unable to nap.

This is where gratitude comes in: when I start feeling sorry for myself (beyond the feeling-of-being-sick, the piled on feelings that make being sick worse) I gently remind myself:

* I am not deathly ill. It's just a cold. I'm still able to function, mentally (and as long as I take it slower, physically). The only reason I'm sweating is that it's 80+ degrees with humidity and I'm drinking hot coffee. I don't have a fever.
* My husband is willing and able to pick up the slack without complaining. 
* My kid doesn't mind staying closer to home and having a chill weekend.
* I can still read and write and focus.
* We have the most comfortable couches.
* I have beautiful, clean clothes to wear.
* I am alive. And before I caught this cold I was feeling really good. And after this cold works it's way out of my system, I will feel good again.
* I live in an era and place where modern medicine really can help. Benedryl (to lessen the asthma that accompanies my cold)? Check. Throat spray? Check. Ibuprofen? Check.
* We have clean running water (showers!) and window a/c units that we could install, if we weren't trying to be "good." I even bought a window fan, but it's still in the box, in the basement (will rectify that later today).
* My hair looks really fantastic right now, between the showers and the sweating.
* The interweb is an amazing place. And my iPod touch is an amazing device. I am so lucky.

Gratitude helps me get beyond my "poor me" complaining. Focusing on gratitude helps me remember that this really is an amazing life, an amazing world.

Right now, I am in discomfort. But discomfort is not my permanent state.

(There is no permanent state.)

Everything changes. Everything. We all get sick (some of us are more susceptible than others: I have asthma, so I am one of those). We recover. (Even dying is a recovery of sorts.) Everything changes.

The question becomes, "What do you want to focus on, in this moment?"

And in this moment, I pick gratitude.

What will you pick?