Saturday, September 12, 2015

Be grateful for what you’ve got- Gratitude pays dividends!

The last week has been pretty tough. Having almost always been healthy and active, to find myself suddenly neither, was something of a head spin.  Luckily I have made it my mission this year to think positively and in terms of gratitude. Having woken up progressively less flexible and mobile and in more and more pain in my lower back, for over a week, I optimistically set out on my walk to school on Thursday thinking maybe it will feel better and loosen up after the walk. Well that lasted for the first 5 minutes and then reality set in and I requested we take a taxi to school for the first time since February. Someone with a bit more clarity and forethought might have headed to the hospital or home but no, reality hadn’t set in at that point.

(the gorgeous gratitude journal app I bought to help me this year)

Once at school, I set about the usual morning tasks of signing in, completing the marking on my desk and assembling the lesson plans, texts and resources I needed for my lessons for the day. It wasn’t until I attempted to print out a sheet for the upcoming competition, which is a part of our Reading Year celebrations that I realised that I could barely walk and not bend at all!

Luckily at that point I heard our Madam Tshewang Choden, principal extraordinaire and observant and compassionate mentor, in the corridor. Taking one look at me, she immediately sensed something was wrong, enquired and had me hospital bound. Fortunately the best hospital in the kingdom is very nearby. Gratitude!

Blessing number one would have to be having a principal who appreciates that health is important and not to be trifled with. Over the last few days when I have only ventured out to visit the hospital physiotherapy outpatients’ department, she has continued to be supportive and understanding, calling me and sending texts, reassuring me that I should rest and recover and not worry about school. For me this is an absolute first in Bhutan and I am so very grateful that not only do I have a principal who encourages, challenges and inspires as well as appreciating and praising individual effort but she also understands and is decisive and compassionate. I am full of gratitude and admiration.

With severely limited mobility I have come to feel grateful for so many other things in my current living and working situation too. I am grateful that this apartment has hot showers, as I would never be able to cope with the bathrooms of previous residences, in which we have lived in Bhutan, in my current state. I would never even be able to climb the stairs to our incredible, traditional, rammed earth home in Samtengang! There is another thing to be grateful for right there.  While this apartment is on the 4th floor, there are safe, wide, marble stairs with handrails and I have managed to ascend and descend them albeit slowly several times in the past few days. I am also grateful for the fact that living in the capital means I can simply stop at the pharmacy on my way back from the hospital, when I discover what I should now purchase to expedite my recovery. Being able to purchase what is needed and recommended is not a luxury I have experienced before.

Most of all I am grateful that I have a partner who is supportive and encouraging. He has stepped in and done more than ever to make life easier and more comfortable in the last few days. I have had friends and colleagues call and text and even drop by, as is the Bhutanese custom. Still without a doubt I know our boss is the reason I can finally feel there is light at the end of the tunnel and I am going to get better soon.

How could I not we have a 9-day break coming up later this month and flights to Bumthang already booked. Oh, yes vacation isn’t that just one more reason to be grateful?

This year has taught me that Monty Python got it right when they advised “Always look on the bright side of life” I’m grateful and it works.