A few weeks ago I woke up with that strange feeling of health and energy that comes from the absence of discomfort. After an epic 10 day trip to Indonesia focused on surfing in an environment at times paradise-like and at times very polluted, I got slapped down for a week or so by a combination of jet lag and some sort of severely crampy GI bug. The first morning I woke up not feeling horrible, felt amazing.
So, feeling grateful, I started up the daily gratefulness journal habit again: What three things am I grateful for today? I usually can find a few at the top of my mind. Often they’re the same things as the day before. But, that day I had a bunch of them and I scribbled them down in rapid succession over a few minutes:
- My trip to the grocery story with my 4 year old driving a mini shopping cart with pure joy and a credible threat of ankle injury for the public
- My conversation with my daughter about tap dancing and dealing with the older girls and their opinions
- The town that I get to live in
- My surfboard(s)
- The historical existence of people deep enough to have discovered mindfulness and meditation
- The absence of malaria (there is some of that in Indo)
- The fact that we don’t burn trash on a widespread basis in the US
- The Hippo team who did not need me in the least while I was gone
- My mom who is preternaturally amazing and selfless
- Hearing my mom and my wife laughing in the living room together
- The gruff but clearly skilled interventional cardiologist who put a stent in my dad’s 90% arterial occlusion yesterday
- My old gray haired Labrador, Bronx, and his still wagging tail in the morning
- The pool at the big hotel I’m taking the kids to today, and…
All of those things flooded in with no searching. It’s not always like that but the absence of discomfort, or suffering, seems to have sparked it. At any rate, I appreciated it. And, I appreciate medicine, and my team at my own company, and anyone else who is dedicated to relieving suffering of any kind. It’s hero work.