When it comes to giving thanks, I know exactly where to start — by sending the universe a heartfelt thank you for the gift of life.
I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2004 and triple-negative breast cancer in 2010, and in my 52 years on the planet, there have been other health issues, too. I’ve had my battles, that’s for sure. One might be tempted to harbor resentment about the piling on, but I don’t. I choose to look at it another way. This body of mine is a trooper. It fights back with a vengeance and I’m darn lucky to reside in such a resilient body.
I’ve taken fairly good care of myself and while I can’t claim an excellent track record, I’ve certainly made healthy lifestyle choices. Rather than feel anger at the twists of fate, I figure those healthy choices have contributed to my ability to fight back.
Multiple sclerosis forced me change the way I think about every aspect of my life. Triple-negative breast cancer made me consider my life as a whole.
This year I’m thankful for the gift of life; to be able to wish my children a happy Thanksgiving; to plan for Christmas; to look ahead to the new year.
Whatever your burdens, I hope you have reason to be thankful, too.
This bit of thanks appeared on my personal blog a few weeks ago and I’d like to share it here:
I sing and dance when I feel good. Not well, mind you. My younger son was but a toddler, trapped in a moving vehicle with his off-key mother, when he said, “Mom, can you please sing inside your head?” That about sums up my talent.
My singing is important, though. It’s a sign that I feel good. It’s not just a good mood thing — it means I feel healthy and have extra energy to burn — and that’s not always the case.
While preparing dinner last night I was in fine form, groovin’ to classic rock and belting out some fairly horrific sounding notes. Then I considered my husband, working in our home office, and wondered if I was annoying him. How could he concentrate with my off-key chorus? But it felt too good to stop.
My precarious health situation this past year means that he appreciates just about anything I do, simply because I’m here to do it. That’s got to wear off eventually, right?
At dinner I asked the question. “How long will it last? How long will I be able to get away with making a racket before you quit appreciating my mere presence and ask me to cut it out?”
“I’d say pretty much for the rest of your life, babe. Sing all you want. I like to hear it.”
Happy Thanksgiving to all, and may you truly appreciate your blessings.
Image credit: istockphoto.com
Ann Pietrangelo is the author of “No More Secs! Living, Laughing & Loving Despite Multiple Sclerosis.” She is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors and a regular contributor to Care2 Healthy & Green Living and Care2 Causes. Follow on Twitter @AnnPietrangelo