04 January 2011

bonne année et bonne santé!

I've started to get into a routine of finding things to put into my posts everyday, but today did not come as easily as other days have. Today was half great and half not great. Let's start with half full.
Well, I went shopping today and found lots of great clothes and great deals! Gotta love coupons! And I got 2 new pairs of shoes - 1 snazzy pair and 1 fancy pair; there is a difference - which are absolutely fabulous. It was a good shopping day.
But..our new kitty is sick with some sort of obscure kitty malady and he wasn't himself all day. It was sad. And now I - me! - have a itchy throat.
And I don't get sick. It's just not what I do. I get sick maybe once a year or once every other year for about a day and all I can do is moan and cry and say how horrible my life is and why oh why would me of all people get sick. When there are tons of other people who are even more sick for like, their whole lives. My "illnesses" usually last about a day or two and then it's done. Until next year, or the year after that. Really, it's a pretty good deal. I get sick once in a while, and I'm fine the rest of the time.
But there's something about being sick that just makes me feel defeated, like the whole world was out to get me, and the world has defeated me, and my sickness is my surrendering. It's kind of messed up.
But this is my chance to change that. Instead of this melodramatic-ness, I will try (which means I am not guaranteeing it will work) to not believe that it is the end of humankind and that meteors are headed for the planet.
But the cool thing about being sick is that it makes you feel happier when you're better. It makes you appreciate the times when you aren't sick a lot more. Like, boy, it feels great not having to drink seventy pounds of orange juice to try and make my throat feel better!
I read an article on CNN - there's an app for that now - about this little girl who lives in Afghanistan. Apparently, Afghanistan is the world's worst - as in number 1 - worst country for children to live, according to UNICEF. This little 5 year old has to care for her family. She has to try and start fires to keep her family warm in the harsh winter. She barely has enough food to stay alive. And her younger brother passed away last year from hypothermia. She blows on her hands to try and keep them warm. She uses trash in the streets to try and start fires. She is struggling to survive. Her family, and her health, is at stake.
And meanwhile, I'm sitting, holding my iPad, which millions of Americans kill to have, sitting in my fancily-furnished little mansion, complaining about my sore throat. As I look at the pictures of this sweet little girl and her family, I can't help but realize how stupid it is to complain about such a simple little problem that will go away in a couple days.
Yeah, sore throats are annoying and it makes your throat hurt every time saliva travels down your esophagus. But I don't struggle for food. I just walk over to the fridge, grab a juice pouch and some cheese, and plop in front of the couch watching reruns. I don't struggle for warmth. If I'm cold I go upstairs to the closet and pick from more than 10 different jackets. Or I go over and press a button to make the heat come on. I don't live in a hut with a plastic bag over my head. I live in a less that 10 year old house.
The more I think this through, the less I think about my sore throat, and the more I think about how happy I should be with how my life is. After all, it is really pretty great. We may not live with the Scandinavians, where the quality of life is off the charts, but we're in the top 20. Certainly not anywhere close to dead last.
The French have a saying that they, well, say, on New Year's Eve - bonne année et bonne santé - which literally means, "good year and good health". Basically, they are wishing you a prosperous new year and good health. We should all wish good health to one another, and we should also be thankful for our own good health.

So if anyone says to you, bonne santé!, reply back with et toi aussi!


  1. "et toi aussi!" ~ good blog....always better to look at life as the glass half full and not the glass half empty. Enjoyed, per usual, your thoughts, humor and insights.
    love,mom xoxo

  2. Meg,

    I'm delighted you are blogging again! It's always a pleasure to read what you are thinking.

    I hope you are feeling better.