Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Appreciation & Gratitude

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

For the past two weeks I've been quite sick, and this ended with five days in the hospital. I got out yesterday and am on the mend. It was nothing life threatening, but it has not been fun.

Today, as a result of many people and factors, my appreciation-gratitude-index is way up. Co-workers, my partner, my boss, and a number of friends supported me and sorted out the details of my life when I couldn't. The health care system in my little corner of Canada worked beautifully to get me better and keep me comfortable. Medical staff gave me thorough, friendly care, while kitchen staff did their best to accommodate my unique-to-them dietary needs. I had a safe, snug home to return to and two excited, happy dogs to greet me. I even appreciate the illness, only because it was a relatively innocuous wake-up call about some of my lifestyle choices.

I'd been so caught up in the busyness of my life that I wasn't making time to just sit still and take notice, relax, or give much to my family and friends. Nearly everything I've done in the past six months has been done in hyperdrive...and I crashed at the end of the ride.

The time in the hospital and this recuperation week at home are gifts. I have actually had an hour or two of boredom, which is rare for me. And thank goodness, I turned the boredom into peaceful reflection and relaxation in my lovely electric shape-shifting hospital bed. It felt so good to sit and do absolutely nothing in my quiet, darkened room.

That's when I realized that I was the author of my illness. I overworked and over-stressed, and ignored myself, family, and friends to a great extent. I'm so grateful that it didn't take a serious, terrifying illness or accident to wake me up. I'm so grateful I have loved ones and generally good health and options.

So I tell this little tale for my sake and, if you're interested, yours. Don't wait until you get knocked flat, like I did, before you notice what's happening. Stop whatever you're doing right now and look around you. Notice one lovely thing. Appreciate one comfort or challenge. Give somebody nearby a smile or a kind word. Send loving thoughts to somebody. Breathe deeply five times, say thanks...and then go ahead, get back to whatever you were doing. It might just seem richer than it did a few moments ago.

I've just done this, and I intend to do it more often. I intend to make some changes, because it's in my control to look after myself so that I can be of some use to others and appreciate the joy in life.

I hope you make a wonderful day.

2 comments:

Blueeyedblondeee said...

What a wonderful thing you have done, sharing your experience with us who are listening Kate. I agree 100 percent that we all tend to get caught up in the many responsibilities that we each have and we tend to forget ourselves. As a result, illness can creep up on a person so quickly and enexpectedly and then we say..." oh oh now what". I am so glad you had such a strong support system, that is very important. I am also glad that you had the opportunity to explore appreciate and examine what you feel would be beneficial changes to make in your life so that it works for you in every way. We do tend to unintentionally ignore the "joys in life" and with your bolg, I find it very inspirational. Thank You. Im glad your getting better. ...Julie

Kate Thompson said...

How great to hear from you here, Julie! I appreciate your comments and hope my experience and reflection are helpful to you along the way. Hope to "see" you here again.