I’m Thankful for Health on Thanksgiving Day
Today, on Thanksgiving Day (in Canada), there are many things to be grateful for.
And definitely too many things that I take for granted. One such thing is health.
I took a short trip to Victoria over the weekend. At the hostel I stayed at, I met an Australian girl who was touring Victoria for a few days before heading off to Whistler to work; I met another girl, an American from a small town near North Carolina, who was taking a one-week vacation.
We were chatting and enjoying each other’s company when the American girl took out a needle. The Australian girl asked her what the needle was for. The American girl said that she had type 1 diabetes and that those were insulin injections.
“Wow,” I thought to myself, “I’ve never even thought about having diabetes.”
Then I realized there are a lot of things I’ve never thought about.
I’ve never thought about what it would be like to have a heart condition, a brain tumor, an aneurysm rupture, cancer, digestive issues, or anemia—these are challenges that my friends around me have battled with, or are currently fighting.
I don’t really have any major health problems; I’ve never even broken a bone. I have a friend who broke her collarbone and now has a piece of metal holding her fractured bone together. I’ve never thought about how difficult it must be to not move your body freely.
I’m not even allergic to anything, except for pollen during the spring. It does annoy me when I have to find a tissue to blow my nose, or when I have to go through the day with itchy, swollen eyes—but I’ve never thought about what it would be like to not eat whatever I wanted. I have a friend who’s allergic to all sorts of foods, including fruits. That’s something else I take for granted.
And while we’re at it, something else I don’t really think about—and this is something a lot of us ladies don’t talk about—is how our monthly cycles affect us. Mine, thankfully, is as hassle-free as anyone can imagine it to be. I don’t get cramps, pain or mood swings when I’m on my period; and my period has been regular for as long as I’ve had it. I have girlfriends who go through bad cramps every month and also some who have irregular cycles. So, I’m grateful for my painless and regular (and very uneventful) periods.
I’m also grateful that I’m mentally and emotionally healthy. I have a strong support network of family and friends that I can lean on.
Once in a while, I reflect and think about how lucky I am to not have any major health issues or pains. I’ve made an effort over the years to eat healthier and do regular exercise—without seeing these things as chores but blessings.
Yesterday, I ran a marathon in Victoria. (Well, I ran the majority of it!)
A lot of people have asked me why I would ever want to run a marathon.
I have two good friends who have been battling serious health issues. One of them seemed perfectly healthy, but had a life-threatening event in June that gave her no choice but to get an emergency brain operation. Fortunately—and so so fortunately—the operation was successful and she is now recovering. My other friend is endlessly battling a disease that slowly destroys her immune system, and I’m praying that she gets better.
They have been so strong despite everything; their courage and positivity in the hardest of times has really made me reflect on just how blessed I am.
I ran that marathon because I knew I could. Don’t get me wrong: it was probably the most challenging thing my body has been through. But when I made the decision to run it two months ago, I knew that at the core of it, I was physically capable. (Also, I’m always up for a challenge and I generally enjoy running.)
They say that gratitude leads to happiness.
I do agree that when I think about the many blessings I have, I am happy. I also think that gratitude leads to a motivation to do things that other people may not have the opportunity to. Like running marathons, for example.
This Thanksgiving Day, I’m grateful for my health because it allows me to sit, stand, walk, jump and run. It’s honestly something that I take for granted, every single day.
What about you? What’s something you take for granted and don’t really think about? Leave a comment—I’d love to hear what you’re thinking about this Thanksgiving.