I am grateful for my memory. I keep checking on it and although it doesn’t have the same alacrity it once did, it’s still intact. In honor of all the people who are challenged by their memories, it is Light the World in Teal Day, sponsored by the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America.
I have a new project. I’m going to shift my mindset and decide that I love winter. I must. I dread the season so entirely that it does me in. So, instead, I will do as the Norwegians suggest and embrace it. Thank you, Maggie Moris, for finding this article. We have already made a few of these suggestions a part of our lives but now I will learn to appreciate the rest. I may even go outside into the cold. I will be grateful for koselig.
As I look back over nearly a year of proclamations of gratitude, I note that spring and summer and fall each earned excitement. Beautiful seasons, each one of them. And then there’s winter. I have a hard, harder, hardest time being grateful for winter. I remember too many years of cars not starting, sliding off the road, tow trucks, and oops-a-daisy falls. But if this year has taught me anything, it’s that there is ALWAYS something to be grateful for in each challenging aspect of life. Ta-da! I am grateful that winter provides contrast. How did I do?
I am grateful that medicine has evolved to the point where early detection can head off all sorts of health issues. A word today: don’t put off the tests your doctor has urged you to do … the people who love you will appreciate your efforts.
When someone asks what your favorite food is … a barrage of tastes, smells, and images floods into the open space of possible answers. You think of your favorite food when you were five. When you first sailed into the world as an adult, your food choices were open to all possibility and your favorite food changed. At many times during the following years, you made new discoveries and something delectable nudged out a prior favorite. When you’re asked about your favorite food, you recall your lifetime of memories and experiences. You’re reminded of places you’ve traveled, people with whom you shared a meal, occasions for celebration, Friday nights on the couch. All of these responses result from one question. Aren’t our brains amazing? I am grateful for mine.
What’s your best place to think? Mine is in the shower. All kinds of ideas are borne in that soothing cascade of water. I get a lot of writing done. I have to focus to remember what I’ve composed in my head until I can write it down. I’m grateful for the privilege of taking a shower. I have to think fast. I am sharply aware that the world’s water resources are threatened so my thinking has to occur quickly. How about you? Where do you do your best thinking?
My mother was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma just 10 days before she died. An incredibly healthy woman all of her life, this was a shock. Her brother had died of lung cancer 25 years earlier but otherwise cancer had left our immediate family alone. Nature, nurture, environment? We tried to find reasons but it’s far, far more important to find means for making bodies healthy again when one of the many types of cancer attacks them. I am grateful to the American Cancer Society and ALL of the medical and research professionals who have dedicated decades of their work to mitigating, and blessedly curing, the effects of cancer. Support their work. I am and I will.
Eighteen years ago, I woke up in the recovery room after a particularly rough surgery and said, in that anesthetic fog, “I feel like I have an elephant standing on my chest.” I had never heard that phrase before but I have since learned it is a well-known symptom of a heart attack. The staff at Abbott Northwestern Hospital immediately transferred me into a coronary care unit and did everything possible to make sure I wasn’t in danger. As it turned out, I wasn’t. At all. But their care during that hospital stay and the follow-up afterward helped me understand how pro-active our medical community is … and the lifesaving support they offer. On this day, February 1st, I am grateful for Go Red for Women Day, recognizing the importance of women taking care of their heart health and all the efforts to help us recognize what we need to do. Spread the word. Pay attention to your heart health. Go Red!