The things we take for granted

Yesterday, and Doug and I were driving into Georgetown, I was watching all of the runners and cyclists enjoying the nice weather. And on the inside, I was a little bit envious.  Why?  Because I’ve had a procedure on my leg, as well as stitches (in the same leg, nonetheless) and haven’t been able to workout for three weeks.  The workouts from which I’m forbidden include, but are not limited to, walking, swimming, yoga, running, and biking – all of the things that I enjoy.

As I was watching the people workout, and silently seething on the inside, I was reminded of the things I take for granted on a daily basis.  Had I not been forbidden to workout, I wouldn’t have the feeling that I was missing out, because it was something that I would just do without contemplating or debating.  And had I not had the feeling that I was missing out, I wouldn’t have been reminded about all of the things that I take for granted.  Everything happens for a reason, right?

In reality, there are many things I take for granted, because I am so used to having them around, such as a roof over my head and a pillow upon which I lay my head each night. I was reminded of this quote:

“If you woke up this morning 
with more health than illness,
 you are more blessed than the 
million who won’t survive the week.

If you have never experienced 
the danger of battle,
 the loneliness of imprisonment,
 the agony of torture or
 the pangs of starvation,
 you are ahead of 20 million people 
around the world.

If you have food in your refrigerator,
 clothes on your back, a roof over
 your head and a place to sleep,
 you are richer than 75% of this world.

If you have money in the bank, 
in your wallet, and spare change 
in a dish someplace, you are among 
the top 8% of the world’s wealthy.

If you hold up your head with a smile
 on your face and are truly thankful, 
you are blessed because the majority can,
 but most do not.

If you can read this message,
 you are more blessed than over
 two billion people in the world 
that cannot read anything at all.”

I was instructed to not workout for three weeks, but what about the many people all around the world who can’t workout, those who are an amputee or don’t have access to tennis shoes to run or walk.  There are mornings when I wake up tired and don’t want to get out of bed, but what about those who wake up on the streets, with only a box separating them from the cold, hard earth.  I can read and write, and have a computer on which to do so.  I have friends and loved ones who are alive and well.  I have food in my refrigerator and money in my bank account.  For all of that, I am grateful and thankful.

There are days when I don’t feel grateful or days when nothing seems to be going right.  On those days, I sit down with my blackberry or with a pen and write out 5 things for which I am thankful.  And I always feel better, even if the list reads: coffee, bed, roof over my head.  Because when I re-read the list, I realize that the little things in life are the things that matter most.

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