I just had a revelation. Don’t worry. It’s okay. I am still young enough to have them. I can explain.
If you have been following my saga, you will remember that I have been mired in the midst of some minor head surgery (but take it from me, when they say “surgery” it is never minor). Yes, it seems like the doctors had decided that the key to my future good health was to have things “rearranged” inside my head. I suggested a good shaking or even a sharp blow might do the trick; but I could not convince them. Surgery it was.
The results were good – or so they told me. Everything was now where it should be; and anything that wasn’t needed was taken out: sort of like a spring cleaning of the frontal lobe, so to speak. I was bandaged up, put on medication and sent home with the following instructions: “Do not exert yourself, do not bend, do not move, and for goodness sake, don’t blow your nose! See you in a week. Have fun!”
I spent a fun-filled week not doing much more than icing up my head, while my family kept vigil at my side, waiting for that inevitable moment when I would draw tissue to nose so that they could all scream “Don’t blow your nose!” at heightened decibel levels. Such fun!
This was always followed by me saying “I wasn’t going to blow – I’m just wiping.”
Time:The Great Healer
A week passed, and I returned to the scene of the crime for my post-op checkup, at which time I was told that the lingering pain and discomfort I was experiencing was normal trauma from such an operation,and that I was still headed toward recovery – in another week or so. That didn’t sound too encouraging, but this did: I was given permission to blow my nose.
I immediately raced home and got out every box of tissues in the entire house, already making my way through three of them. I have been reveling in my newly-granted privilege, finding new joy in every expulsion, alternating between left and right nostril, and sometimes attempting a double with hearty vigor and great glee. I have never been so happy!
That got me to wondering: why did this simple task thrill me so? It wasn’t that being forbidden to blow was so painful or uncomfortable. It was more than that. I felt the liberating happiness of a baby after it takes her first steps or does something for the first time. And then it dawned upon me: what I was feeling was a recognition that I had taken something for granted. Something had been taken away from me, then given back, and I realized its true value. That was an eye-opener (not to mention nose-opener.)
There’s always more. I started thinking about our lives and the probability that we take a lot of things for granted, and thereby miss out on the happiness we could have. When we were young, we marveled at taking our first steps; but now we complain because our feet ache, or we are too lazy to walk across the room to get something. We used to take pride in the fact that we were old enough to help around the house, mow the lawn, or do chores. Now we complain that we are sick and tired of doing them.
What else do we complain about? What else do we take for granted? Do we complain that we have to eat lima beans at dinner time, when we should be thankful that we have food on the table? Are we annoyed because they got our order wrong at the drive-through and now we have to eat onions on our hamburger? Do we growl at the price of a gallon of gas while we should be happy that we have a car? Do we complain that we have to listen to some idiot talk about blowing his nose, or are we grateful that we know how to read? Where does it end?
It’s Your Choice: You Pick
Yes, It all started when they decided to do a cerebral makeover on me. It all started when they told me that I couldn’t blow my nose. And now look, I am happier than a kid at Christmas time. It just goes to show you that they were right: ignorance is bliss. Now if you will please excuse me, I am about to attempt a right-left-right-double. Wish me luck!