Sunday, 13 October 2013

Let's celebrate our good health this Thanksgiving




Maybe I caught it at the gym or down at the market.
Maybe I got it tossing around a Kong with Finnigan in an e Coli infested yard.
Maybe it was lurking in the half-priced duck we ate early in the week.
For whatever reason, I caught a bug that lingered for most of the week, causing my stomach to churn like the waters off North Carolina during hurricane season. Fortunately, it wasn't the type of bug that had me holding a pail puking while my butt was permanently glued to the toilet.
My stomach was just sour.
I don't get sick very often. It's one of the perks of being a shut-in, writerly sort of person. If you don't go anywhere, you can't get anything.
But in the past few years, I've been putting myself out there in the cold, germy world.
I go to The Athletic Club nearly every day. I'm at the supermarket sometimes twice a day.
And, of course, I'm rocking the dog park on the weekends.
So I guess you could say I was asking for it.
It's a strange thing, but I really don't mind being sick, as long as "sick" means temporarily sidelined. It's when I'm sick that I realize how absolutely fortunate I am to have good health.
If a person is always healthy, they take this gift for granted. They become grass is always greener over the septic tank sort of folks. They worry too much about what they want and don't appreciate what they have.
Perpetually healthy people tsk tsk those who experience ill health.
"Maybe if they took better care of themselves," they groan. "If they ate better and exercised, they wouldn't be laid up in the hospital or have difficulty walking around the mall."
It's the ultimate in snobbery, to say that people control whether they get a disease or gain too much weight around the belly in the later years.
It's only when healthy people finally becomes sick themselves that they realize how little control we humans have over our physical destiny.
When I get sick, I am thankful for my good health.
When I get sick, I am more empathetic with my friends who live in constant pain and misery.
I literally feel their pain.
Yesterday, I got up feeling much better.
I couldn't wait to get out in the world.
I ate a healthy breakfast and bolted for the gym.
Today, I'll help Scott make a hearty Thanksgiving dinner for the kids and my friends Bob and Doris who have both faced serious health challenges in the last year. And I'll give them both a hug.
It's a challenge for both of them to even get up, get dressed and get out the door, to hobble down to the car on walkers and canes.
Sometimes Bob falls down, but he always manages to get up.
But you know what? They never complain and they are happy just to feel the sun on their cheeks and the wind in their hair.
Most of the rest of the time, they're at doctors or self-sequestered in their tiny apartment.
Not today.
Today, they're coming to my house with smiles and appetizers. They're coming in spite of life-threatening conditions that would have brought most joggers to their knees.
I admire them, I really do.
So let's raise a glass to those who live in challenging times, in poor health or in poverty.
And let's share our good fortune with them.
The shoe will surely be on the other arthritic food soon enough.
Happy Thanksgiving, one and all, from our family to yours.

No comments:

Post a Comment