I'm doing things a little different this week. I'm celebrating the small things today instead of on Friday.
My small thing? Waking up.
Last week I went to a tea with my mother and my sister and as I was eating scones and sipping on tea, the speaker dared to interrupt my rather peaceful and placid afternoon with a speech that would rock my world. It's still rocking my world. She had just gotten back from China on a missionary trip to the underground churches there and she was talking about the people she'd met and the food she'd eaten and the places she'd slept. I started off interested. China is someplace I've had no interest in visiting. And the pictures she was showing proved it. Bugs. They were actually eating bugs, and a brain of some kind, and the toilets were literal holes in the ground.
Then I saw it.
The people there looked happy, some of them radiantly so. Now, most of you know that I'm a psychiatric nurse; I know happiness is a rare and precious commodity. And the woman who was telling us these stories? The one who'd gone to China again and again, sometimes at the risk of her own life? She was happy, too.
A knot formed in my stomach. Have I become too spoiled, too accustomed to thick mattresses and central heat and every other luxury that has become expected? In short, have I been ruined by excess?
Just twenty minutes before she began speaking we'd had one of the waitresses close the door closest to us because it was drafty. I didn't want to have to put on my coat over the dress I was wearing. I didn't want to be uncomfortable. But it turns out uncomfortable was just what I needed.
This morning I watched as the sun rose over a field blanketed in crisp white snow, but that time I really saw it. That time I really appreciated it.
Do you ever think our "stuff" is sometimes a curse instead of a blessing?