sssAllysonAs a teenager, every time I got the sniffles severely enough for my mom to take me to the doctor, they ran all sorts of tests on me. Diabetes, migraines, ulcers. It was different and unique each time.

The family physician never said why, but I always suspected it was because my family history, parents and grandparents, is a medical dictionary of afflictions. My tests always came back negative though. The worst thing I ever had was strep throat, and the closest I came to major surgery was having impacted wisdom teeth removed.

When I hit my mid-twenties, I figured my time would be up any minute now. I’d be diagnosed with… something. Dementia maybe? Brain tumors took my paternal grandfather and great-grandfather.

But I made it to thirty, and then beyond, and nothing bad happened. I started to think I was immortal. Not distinctly. It’s not as if I ever sat and thought “I’ll live forever.” but I was pretty sure I’d never get seriously ill.

That all changed a couple of months ago. I’m still not dying. I don’t have anything chronic (except high blood pressure. They’re taking my coffee from me, can you believe the cruelty?) But the doctor found enough wrong it’s knocked me a bit off my game, and it’s time consuming to deal with all the tests, and visits, and surgery, and follow-up. Etc, etc.

Life doesn’t want to slow down for piddly things like cysts and tumors. Sometimes one has to pull the emergency break to catch a breather.

It’s made me realize just how much I took my health for granted. And it’s given me more appreciation for stopping to smell the flowers more often.

What’s your favorite way to slow down and enjoy the little things in life?