I Know I’m Lucky.

Two months of migraines. Two years of learning to cope with this disease. Too many ER trips to count–but if you think I’m over here crying in a corner, you couldn’t be more wrong.

Over the past few years a lot of things have been checked off my bucket list. Some that I prayed for and hoped for and dreamed of, but never really thought would come–but they did. I credit this to chance and luck and maybe a little determination.

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A few weeks ago I did an interview with Theresa Browngold–an artist who does oil paintings and stories about patients in America and how health insurance has affected their lives. She chose me as a subject and I was able to tell her my story. She mentioned that there had been another patient with chronic illness that she had interviewed and she had no insurance. The line she used to compare our journeys was “One lived, one died.”

I know I’m lucky.

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I think about it when I walk through the grocery store and I look at the nutrition labels for low-calorie foods and I recognize that I live in a country where food is so freshly and abundantly available that I have to stop myself from over-eating. That if I want to eat a healthy diet I have sixteen displays of fruit from all over the world available to me 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Abundance is all around me.

And I know that on girl’s nights when my friends and I are laughing, piecing together their OKCupid profiles and they’re regaling me with stories of their latest adventures in dating–that I’m lucky to go home to someone who loves me and knows me. And that I no longer have to search through hundreds of profiles to find the one. He’s sitting in my living room waiting for me to sit down so we can start watching Netflix.

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I know I’m lucky when I swipe my card through at Target and it doesn’t decline, when I load the washing machine full of towels and it doesn’t flood the house because the landlord cared enough to check the pipes, when I turn on my car and the engine roars to life because I’m not still driving the Kia Sephia that used to stall in heavy traffic in the middle lane.

I know I’m lucky, because instead of my life goals being find water, find food, find shelter–they can be find what makes you happy, find what makes you useful, find what gives you meaning.

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So the start to that new bucket list?

  • Find more of what is already there to be grateful for.

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