Of Food Poisoning & Gratitude

Nothing like the day after a bout of food poisoning to make you feel like you’ve got a new lease on life.

Maybe it was the grapes, or the toast, or too much sun with grapes and toast. Whatever it was, it left me on the bathroom floor with The Works.

The next day, I was woozy, I couldn’t eat much more than animal crackers, but I was upright. And boy, was that terrific.

So, how to keep that fresh, hot gratitude with me?

I’m not sure that we can, at least not of that intensity. But we can keep a low-level hum of gratitude with us. It isn’t triggered by lack - lack of health makes me grateful for health, say - but by what is.

Tangerines being in season, bug spray on a mosquito-y evening, the toaster working, having an umbrella. Let these minor goodnesses not be lost on us.

We will forget. Here I am three days out and it didn’t even occur to me to be grateful for water coming out of the tap. But we will remember, too. And when we do, let’s not lambaste ourselves for forgetting. Only acknowledge, “Oh, right, yes!” like we do when we remember where we left our keys. And then get on with our grateful business.

This might seem forced at first; we may not really feel grateful for the car starting or the bakery having English muffins - it’s expected, right? But we’re learning to soften into gratitude, which is a counter to the hardening of expectations. The latter won’t release its hold immediately, but the former will get stronger.

My body and I - that dynamic duo - are back in action. She’s still a little tender, so I’m still a little tentative. Which isn’t all bad. It’s a low-level reminder not to take being upright for granted.

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