This morning I woke up and Gratitude was standing in the middle of my bedroom. I was a little bit startled, but then I said, “Hey, how are you?” like I was greeting a really close friend I’d lost touch with. “Where ya been?” Gratitude asked, with a hands-on hips tone. “Mmmm,” I said, “I hurt my knee and I’ve been having a little pity party.” Gratitude stared at me with a kind look that turned into anger. “Well, why didn’t you call me? Why didn’t you invite me?” I answered that I couldn’t. “You know how I get when I hurt myself, I start thinking about the years when my back was so bad and how much it took from me and I panic. I’ve been down here in a pit of sadness, surrounded by misery and anger, ice and a knee brace.”
Gratitude stood there, as it does, and didn’t move.
I suddenly realized I was having this conversation without coffee and started to head for the kitchen, but no, Gratitude wasn’t having it. “Call the doctor,” Gratitude said, a little bit drill Sargeant, a little bit my mother. “I go on Wednesday,” I said, trying to get to the coffee pot. “Ok, then that’s where you’ll start and then you’ll go to physical therapy and then you’ll get better in however long it takes and we both know you know how to do that.” I did know how to do that, to start again, to lose my strength and regain it. I have done it close to a million times (not really, but sort of). “Don’t simplify,” I said, pushing Gratitude aside for the milky, hot richly flavored mug of joe I was about to make. “You talking to me?” Gratitude asked, doing a very disappointing DeNiro. “I love my yoga and pilates and now I can’t do them and maybe I never will be able to again,” I said, with tears rolling down my face, which I wasn’t sure were from my knee situation, or my lack of caffeine. Gratitude blocked the door of my bedroom so that I couldn’t move until I thought long and hard about it. I was lucky I lived in a place that had good doctors, I could find out what was wrong and get it made right. I could go back to doing the things I loved, and in the meantime, I could get a whole bunch of work done. I wasn’t homeless. I had family and friends and of course, my dog. I had a great backyard full of flowers and I could just take my computer and work there. I had avocados, pickling cucumbers and watermelon (my fave summer foods). I had my right knee for driving, my Kindle and Netflix.
And, oh, I had Gratitude.