When I first imagined my inaugural post for the #BlogSmallJoys series, I didn’t think it would be as important to me as it has become. I simply wanted a way to highlight to readers that no matter what is happening in life, there are always small joys to be found and appreciated. I wanted to embrace the happiness found in what seem to be insignificant moments, for it’s those brief flashes that often stay with us for years, isn’t it? I remember the first time I stroked my children’s tiny fingers after their births. I remember climbing the crabapple trees in my first childhood neighbourhood in the spring when the blossoms were sweet. I love sitting across the room watching my kids play, absorbed in their imaginations. I love a hot cup of strong, black coffee. Sunshine on my face. Jumping into a ball pit as a kid. Riding a rollercoaster, or coasting down a hill on my bicycle. Holding hands. There are small joys everywhere.
But today I am just thankful to be alive.
I wanted to begin this series on (Canadian) Thanksgiving Monday. Instead, I started that day by calling 9-1-1, concerned I was having a heart attack. Now, you need to know that I’m not a hypochondriac. It takes a lot to get me concerned about my health and I really wondered whether I was overreacting or not. I had incredible pressure high up in my chest. I was chilled and sweaty. My stomach was a mess. I have no reason to suspect any heart problems at all, but given the symptoms, I thought it was best to call and let someone check me out. I googled the symptoms (never do this!), and I was either having a heart attack or I was dying of some other scary disease according to Dr. Google. Since women often brush off heart attack symptoms as being anxiety, or as not severe, I decided I would rather be safe than sorry.
I’m not kidding when I say absolutely every worry crossed my mind — who would tell my parents? Who would do the Christmas shopping? How could life just end like this? And the more I considered life, the more anxious I became, making everything so much worse.
The EMTs ran tests, told me it looks like my heart is just fine, and in the end I declined heading to the ER because I felt like whatever was happening wasn’t deadly so I might as well stay home and ride it out. I still don’t know what it is, and a day later I’m not feeling much better, but at least I’m alive. I’m sore, I’m under the weather, I’m alive.
In a fit of worry, I made my husband check to make sure I was still alive in my sleep last night. And when I woke to my alarm this morning, I swear I’ve rarely been so happy to just be alive.
I’m not saying I’m going change my entire life because of this. I didn’t have an epiphany that’ll give me a new mission, and I’m pretty sure I won’t be changing the world. But what I do know is that every single day I’m given the chance to open my eyes and participate here is an opportunity to find and appreciate the hell out of life.
I hope that you’ll participate in this blog series. I would love you to write about any way you find and appreciate the small joys of life. And I would love you to come back every Monday to read the next submission in the #BlogSmallJoys series. Please email your submission to me at firstname.lastname@example.org along with a brief bio (if you want) and a link to your blog (if you have one).