I don’t know what to put on my Christmas list. That means that my family has a harder time shopping for me. But you know what? I am grateful that I don’t know what to ask for Christmas.
It is privilege, yes, a warm home, a full refrigerator, a stuffed pantry, lots of clothes and books, and I have my health and my family. We love each other and we like spending time together. I think that I have everything I want.
Ideally, I’d like a large portion of world peace. I actually ask for it every year. My family knows it is a heart wish, a sincere heart wish, and what we can contribute, we do. But a lot is out of our hands. So, we work on peace in our own small corner of the world.
I will probably put some books and scarves on my wish list, perfume, and maybe a pair of fuzzy socks. But that will be it. I have what I have always coveted. My own little world filled with people whom I love and like.
We all know the calls that we get when we are due for a yearly physical or, as I call it, yearly maintenance. You show up, chat with the nurses, see the doc who then asks you how you’ve been the past year. My standard answer: ‘OK, I guess.’
A good doctor digs further to ensure that we are not missing anything in preventive care or injuries that might linger too long. Often, I walk out of the building only to realize later on at home that I had a bunch of questions such as lowering a dose, trying a new prescription, possible side-effects, or that I had started a supplement regime, needed a referral, etc.
To make sure that I get the most out of these yearly physicals, I started a health journal. Nothing fancy, it is a simple notebook. I write the Month at the top of the page and every day I jot down a few words about my health. How do I feel? Fever? How high? Did any food make my stomach upset? Any patterns? How well did I sleep? Any sport’s injuries that linger? Any sudden weight gain or loss? Vision ok?
It is really a very basic thing, one line on most days. Then, at the end of the month, I write a quick summary. How was this month’s sleep compared to last month? More or less stress? Any life changes or news that got me jumpy? If changes were stress related, did I cause my own stress or was it based in worries over another person? Did I take more OTC meds one month than before? Did I exercise enough?
Doing this has made it easier to answer the doc’s questions especially regarding regularity of my periods, the changes with menopause, weight gain or loss after new prescription medications, side-effects, pain that is weather related, and suggestions for life changes and nutrition. It ensures I ask the questions I had during the past few months and I have pen & paper to write down the doc’s answers.
So this week, my gratitude shout-out goes to my health journal!
There is a lot to be grateful for in life. So, what am I grateful for today?
1: Washers and Dryers, they keep us going. Even if we never get to the bottom of the hamper, they keep chucking along without complaining. Hilariously, they are from a series named ‘Epic’ and that name is well-chosen.
2: Tea, yes, simple tea leaves. They are not just tasty. They work magic. Earl Grey Tea settles my stomach when it is upset. Jasmin Green Tea soothes my nerves when I watch the news. Oolong Tea peps me up when I start to feel sluggish. And, Tazo Dream Tea with valerian provides the calm I need before bed.
3: Books, I love books. You can never have too many books. In fact, my husband and I would tell you to move to a bigger house to accommodate your books. We have books everywhere in the house. I have at one point even considered making a Christmas Tree from books but it fell apart.