Monday, November 24, 2008

Make Today Count

I am an early riser – one of those people who stand outside the gym doors at 5 AM waiting for them to open. There are several of us and I do doubt our collective sanity from time to time. I also live in an extremely frigid climate at this time of year and 5 AM at single digit temps is a challenge. My bed feels warm at cozy at 4:30 and the temptation is strong every morning to take a day off. Occasionally I do but most mornings I don’t even entertain the possibility of missing my time at the gym.

Some wake-ups are easier than others and today I numbly dressed, grabbed the car keys and headed for the gym in the pitch dark. I have been having persistent pain in my right heel lately and this has provided me with a legitimate excuse to stay snugly in my little cocoon . Upon awakening today, however, I had no foot pain – no excuse -- but by the time I got to the gym my pain had returned. I made a snap decision not to let this little pain bother me since I was already up and out and so close to the elliptical. I reasoned that a short while wouldn’t hurt so much and it would make my trek to the gym worthwhile.

I was wrong and the result of my foolhardy decision was a definite set back in my healing process. I regretted my decision but it was too late to take it back. No “do-overs” for me. So I started to sulk and feel sorry for myself. The day ahead looked bleak and I had no desire to jump into my daily routine. I was wrapped in self-pity and began to feel exhausted. I only wanted to climb back into my bed and hide away for the day.

I had to leave the gym after a pitiful few minutes and decided to stop at our early morning grocery for a few supplies before I returned home. My foot ached with every step down the aisle and by the time I had gathered my few choices and arrived at the cash register I was emotionally spent. Everything looked bleak and I only wanted to escape this day – I considered stopping for muffins or donuts on my ride home to anesthetize myself (very old self-destructive, emotional eating behavior that still occurs to me occasionally).

As I paid for my groceries the cashier wished me a good day and I wished her one as well. She thanked me and smiled and said she intended this day to be an excellent one. I was surprised by her cheerful voice and her firm intention to have such a fabulous day. I thought perhaps today was a special day for her – her birthday or anniversary or something. I asked why she felt today would be so wonderful and she replied simply, “Well, I’ll never have this day again and so I don’t want to waste it. I want to make the most of it.”

I left the store realizing that I do sometimes waste days and I was clearly on the way to wasting this one. At times I unconsciously wish for time to pass miss the magic of each moment. So this lovely cashier gave me a reminder, a gift. She prompted me to recall all the good in my life and all that I have to be grateful for. So today, instead of crawling back into bed, I am counting my blessings and enjoying the moment, and my foot isn’t hurting at all! I pass this beautiful woman’s wisdom on to you as a gentle reminder that today is what you make it and you will never have a chance to live this day again! Make the most of it!

Dr. Denise

No comments: