I have said in the past that the secret is to simply enjoy what is happening. Over the years, as you can imagine, I’ve received some pushback. Many people say it’s easy to say if you’re healthy or whatever.

Today, I wanted to talk about that a little bit more. Actually, I just got back from the clinic, coughing really badly. I haven’t slept for a couple of days due to painful coughing. The doctor said it’s an early stage of pneumonia, so I’m currently taking a barrage of antibiotics. Some may ask, “How can you simply enjoy what is happening?” It boils down to not taking issue with the present circumstances and appreciating what you have. It’s about realizing how things could be far worse.

I don’t expect to always be healthy or free from pain, so I’m not disappointed when I fall ill. Furthermore, when I experience painful coughs that keep me up at night, I don’t make it a struggle or something to suffer against. There’s truly nothing I can do about it, and I accept that fact. The coughing and hacking persist until they naturally subside, which I know is part of the cycle of change. I simply don’t resist it.

However, there have also been great moments of joy. For instance, I recently had a wonderful hot shower to help alleviate the chills. My wife brought me ice cream last night, something I don’t usually have. Overall, there are things that can be appreciated even in a situation where I have early-stage pneumonia. It could have developed into full-blown pneumonia, requiring a hospital visit, but it’s not that severe.

It was caught early enough, and with a week of antibiotics, I should be fine. It’s about changing the way we typically view things. Our default setting tends to be negative, judging situations based on their usefulness or benefits to us. If they don’t meet our criteria, we’re simply not happy. When I say the secret is to simply enjoy what is happening, I mean finding enjoyment even in sickness.

I have the privilege of going to bed very early, and I’ve had more ice cream than I’ve had in ages. My wife has been kind and supportive as well. It’s actually great that it’s not worse than it is, and I appreciate it for what it is—a temporary, passing thing that isn’t too bad. That’s how you can enjoy what is happening, even when it’s not pleasant.

It doesn’t always have to be comfortable or pleasant to find enjoyment. For example, nobody enjoys going to the dentist, but if you have a toothache and the dentist fixes it, the temporary pain relief feels much better. It’s a cyclical experience of pain and pleasure, and I don’t attach myself to always having pleasure.

Sickness is inevitable, and as long as you deny that fact or make it a problem, you create suffering. I’m not making it a problem; it’s just that the timing, right before Christmas, isn’t the best. However, I’m not turning it into an issue. What is, is. If I have to stay home and keep this contagion to myself, so be it.

But it’s not something to dread, suffer from, resist, resent, or deny. That’s what I mean when I say the secret is to simply enjoy what is happening. Even now, while I’m sick, I’m enjoying myself, and I hope it makes more sense considering my current condition. It’s passing, and I’ll see you again when I’m better.

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