Monday, March 25, 2013

Focus on Gratitude

by Dotti



Hi, Friend! How are you today?

How often do we ask that and how often do we hear it? My usual response … even when it’s not totally truthful is, “I’m well, thanks!”

Life has been good to me. My husband and I have been extraordinarily fortunate to have had few health problems in our almost 41 years of marriage. We’ve had a few broken bones but all survivable. So why am I thinking so much about health today?

About three weeks ago, I came down with an upper respiratory “thing”; about a week later my husband got it. In typical fashion, I didn’t slow down, kept right on pushing. It turns out this “thing” is the most persistent bug I’ve ever seen in my life. Here we are, weeks later, still sounding like Typhoid Mary and Typhoid Tommy. Finally, last weekend, I decided to do a whole lot of nothing.

That got me thinking. First:  “Why do we women do this?” We get sick and we keep plugging along, not taking care of ourselves but making sure we care for all those around us. So I ask you - why do we do this? Do you know? Maybe that’s a topic for another day …

My next line of thought led me to write this post. We have been blessed and I am constantly aware of those around me who have not been so similarly blessed and to each of you I send thoughts of strength and healing. I know some of you, or your family members have serious chronic conditions that you deal with daily and my heart goes out to you. But also I have no right to whine about a lousy, stubborn head cold. Seriously. I know. Let me tell you how I learned this lesson.

Not long after I started a new job, my then 8-year old daughter got pneumonia. My husband drove 3 hours to fetch his elderly mother to come stay with our daughter because I didn’t have enough sick days or vacation days accrued (and at that time it was unheard of for a father to stay home).

When I returned to work, a co-worker asked how my daughter was doing. I got all choked up, and said she was coming along slowly. Then I commented that I didn’t know how parents with seriously ill children dealt with it day in and day out.

 My co-worker got a funny look on her face, mumbled something and walked away. A few weeks later, I found out why. Her oldest child, then in his 20’s, was born with severe brain damage and had been bedridden since the age of 4. 

Way to go, Dotti! Open mouth, insert foot. I’m sure that friend has long since forgotten that brief conversation but I haven’t. It turned out to be a real epiphany for me, a reminder of how blessed we have been which brings me to the reason for my focus on gratitude for today. I am grateful for good health. (Knocking on wood.)

What about you? What’s on  your gratitude list today? And by the way … how are you ... really?
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16 comments:

Carol said...

It's a daily lesson when you work in medicine. Appreciate every bit of what your body does for you every day!

Dotti said...

So true, Carol.

Kim Stevens said...

How am I really? My honest answer is (crappy) . . . you asked! ;)

This morning will be our third doctor visit in a week and I'm hoping someone can figure out what is wrong with my son.

Cathy H. said...

How am I? I am fine! That's not just a pat answer. I'm really fine. Blessed beyond measure with health and family! I do find myself whining now and then though. That's when I stop and say a pray for someone else who I know is suffering much more than me and then I say a pray of thankfulness for my many blessings!

CarolHart said...

Hope you are on the mend Dotti. I am great, thank you for asking. While going through a year of chemo treatment I adopted a daily ritual of recognizing and documenting at least one thing every day to be grateful for...and there is so much to be grateful for.

Dotti said...

Oh, Kim. I'm so sorry to hear this. Thinking about you all ... Keep me posted.

Dotti said...

Love your attitude, Cathy!

Dotti said...

It's so true, isn't it, Carol? Once we find one thing to he grateful for we usually find many more ... even on the worst days.

terriporter said...

One thing that helps me stop focusing on my own troubles is to see how many others have even more to worry about. But it's hard to do when we're sick or our children are sick. Having a "habit of gratitude" and finding things to be grateful for really helps me to get through the tough times. Dotti, I hope you are kicking that "bug" and are on your way to feeling better!

http://vivhalliwell.com said...

Having recovered from cancer I feel so grateful for everyday and so thankful for the wonderful medical professionals in my local hospital here in the UK,
and I'm feeling fine....

heyjudephotography said...

When I was a kid I remember hearing my Mom and Grandma saying, "You don't have anything if you don't have your health." I didn't fully understand that until I was an adult, but oh how true. It seems there isn't a week that goes by that I'm not hearing of someone I know who is struggling with some kind of illness. Dotti, I hope you are well on your way to well. It does seem that everything my family has had this winter has hung on longer than usual. Take care of yourself, take it easy.

Susan W said...

What a great post. I hope you can get rid of this bug. How am I, well tired and stressed, but considering what others are going through, I really am fine.

Carol said...

Oh boy now I feel like a louse. I never said get well to you this morning! So GET WELL SOON buddy!!!

AFishGirl said...

I hope you feel well soon, Dotti. After 29 years as a pharmacist, I firmly believe that illness is huge and that when we are well, if we've not faced serious illness or witnessed it, well, it's easy to take feeling good for granted. This was a great post. How I am? Tired. What am I grateful for? Blogs. Cameras. Friends. Tea. Sleep, elusive though it may be at times, the laughter of children, the hope of Spring.

stephmull said...

Health is a great blessing, isn't it? And I am guilty of completely taking it for granted until I am flat on my back in bed! Thank you for reminding me to be grateful each day!

kelly said...

i'm glad to hear you're feeling better dotti. when i am sick, it's a not-so-gentle reminder that i am not invincible. (like i prefer to believe.) but it certainly makes me grateful for my healthy body and my good life.

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