"We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures."
- Thornton Wilder, Pulitzer Prize Winning American Novelist
“Not what we have but what we enjoy, constitutes our abundance.”
- Epicurus, Greek Philosopher + Lover of Happiness
You're lying in bed as the day's happenings stir and settle in your brain like a magic concoction, ready to produce the most heavenly sleep you can imagine.
You've added all of the necessary ingredients to the mix: an eight-hour work day, a delicious strawberry-banana smoothie for lunch (with flax + protein powder, of course), some CNN (or the Kardashians, no judgement. Those vixens certainly do balance out a day's worth of "thinking"), and you even got in a few pages of that book you just picked up at the local library.
You shut your book and turned off the light. Any minute now, the sandman will come and take you away to dreamland.
And that's when it happens.
Instead of sleeping, you start thinking about weird ass shit.
Last night, for example, I spent at least 5 minutes imagining what each number would sound like if it began with the letter 'H' instead of it's usual first letter. Here's what I came up with:
- Hree (doesn't work)
- Hour/Whore (lovely)
Why did I do this? Hell if I know. But as you can see, my genius magical potion of a brain discovered that most numbers would sound like other words if you replaced their first letter with the letter, 'H'. Fascinating.
But just as I was going through twenty (hwenty) and thirthy (hurty), my mind drifted to something much more interesting: Flesh eating bacteria.
You see, while floating down the river with my gal pal Lauren on Sunday, I cut my foot on a rock at the bottom of the river.
"I'm going to get a flesh eating bacteria!" I said, looking at my slightly bloody foot.
"Yeah, I just heard about some girl in Georgia who got that and they had to cut off her foot, her leg, her fingers, and a whole bunch of other libs!" Lauren shared.
And though I hadn't thought about it in the 24 hours since Lauren told me that lovely tale, as I lay in bed that night with an infected cut on my foot, I couldn't help but to think about flest eating bacteria.
More specifically, I thought about what would happen if doctors had to amputate my foot:
"We're sorry, ma'am, but this foot just has to go." The doctor would tell me.
"NO!" I would cry before looking at my mother, who had thrown herself to the ground sobbing. "What ever will I do without my right foot?!"
But then, I would realize that losing my foot to flesh eating bacteria would actually be an opportunity to practise what I preach. I would choose to see losing my right foot as a new lease on life. Hell yeah!
I heard "Eye of the Tiger" start playing as I visioned my recovery as an amputee. Getting fitted for a prosthetic. Falling down from the treadmill and getting back up. Doctors cheering me on. Running marathons and being in the newspaper. It would be glorious!
And then I snapped out of it.
When I realized that I am not, in fact, an amputee, I almost cried with gratitude that I still have my right foot.
And boy, I've never been so happy to wake up with all of my limbs. I feel like I can do anything!
Feeling that grateful for something as silly as not having flesh eating bacteria is pretty cool. And while I don't suggest becoming a paranoid freak like me (though, I assume that if you read that whole story that you already are), I would like you to do the following:
Open up a word document, the notepad on your iPhone, or get out a piece of paper and a pen. Then, write down 25 silly little things that you are grateful for. If you're really cool, you add your responses in the comments, below!
This is a great activity to get you started, though I also recommend creating a gratitude journal as well. Every night before you go to bed, write down three things that you are grateful for. Here's what mine looks like from yesterday:
Things I'm grateful for:
- My right foot (obvi).
- A rainy day (felt good to be cozy indoors)!
- Amy's Vegan Burritos. They're just that good :P