Monday, February 17, 2014

What Grey's Anatomy is Teaching Me About Living

You know what's a really great thing?


It's just so nice. Ya know, to breathe. Through your nose. Easily. And this seems no special thing to someone who is healthy, but often you feel the importance of something only when it's gone. So the last two weeks that I've been sick, I've been highly appreciative of every extra ounce of air that has found its way back to my nostrils. And now a couple times a day, I tell Jeremy, "Breathing is just so great."

But the same is true of nearly everything.

We only appreciate breathing because we've been sick.
We only appreciate warm weather when it's cold.
We only appreciate water when there isn't any.
We only appreciate time when there's none left.

Doesn't some kind of loss always come before some kind of gain?

Jeremy and I have been watching a lot of medically-themed TV lately. Mostly, Grey's Anatomy. We found all ten seasons on-line and to say we're gorging ourselves on Grey's would be an understatement. We're quite enthralled (i.e. five-episode, late-night Grey's Anatomy marathon just last week). And with all this medical-speak in my consciousness lately, I'm probably becoming more and more of a hypochondriac than usual.

There are just so many ways to get impaled by a tree.
So many ways to get cancer.
Innumerably terrifying ways to die.

And my gut response to this is to Google: "cancer-free diet"

Which, honestly, isn't so bad if it were only about a Google search. But it's based in fear. Based on the notion that there just isn't enough "health" to go around. Somebodies always gotta die.

And this makes me consider all of those hospital patients on the show who are absolutely stunned that they are the ones who got sick. That they are the ones with the diagnosis they always expected for someone else. Because no one plans on tragedy, it just happens. And when it does, the patients always lament, "And we never even went to Paris."

So while eating a "cancer-free diet" may be a good short-term preventative measure, I've been thinking a lot lately about living a darn good life. Because that's always what we crave when life throws us a curve ball. We don't long for more money, we long for more moments.

And while life has its necessary waiting rooms, gas station fill-ups, and weekends spent alone in front of the TV, we are also given opportunities. Blessings. Luck. Joy. And lately, I've been making it a practice of noticing them. Of writing them down. Of saying them out loud.

Because these are the things I want to remember.
These are the things I want to cherish.
Not only when and if there comes a day they are no longer available to me, but right now.
Can't I be grateful for breath everyday?
Can't I appreciate the chilly weather now because I'll be wanting it in August?
Can't I relish Saturday morning coffee with my husband now in case there isn't a "forever"?

Let's meditate on that and listen to my recent favorite song...

On a regular basis, I shake myself and remember a few things:
I am healthy.
I am wealthy (simply because I'm not actually poor).
I am blessed.
I am loved.
I've been living in Korea FOR SIX MONTHS (woot) with the man I love.

And the blessings just keep coming.