Paying Attention

It has been nine weeks since I had the much unexpected surgery to remove part of my gut. I had no idea there was anything wrong until there was something very wrong.  I have made a few changes since that operation.

For one thing, I was basically addicted to diet sodas and it was hard for me to ever realistically see a time when I wouldn’t be drinking 4 or more a day. I craved them from morning to night. Not being a coffee drinker, I thought the caffeine in the colas helped get me through the day. I haven’t had a soda, diet or regular, in 9 weeks. Yes, I still sometimes crave them. I am drinking a lot of unsweetened iced tea, and good ole plain water.

I have started taking a pill with 10 different probiotic strains in it.  The surgeon said my surrounding intestines didn’t look right to him. I have started to understand how important our gut health is to our overall well being. Already, I am noticing a difference from, perhaps, the probiotics. I am happier in the present moment, even optimistic about the future and I seem to be more grateful. I am wondering if I wasn’t feeling depressed at times due to what was taking place inside of me?

I have also been taking magnesium through a gummie. It seems to help with regularity. I’ll leave out the details except to say that they’re yummy gummies and I feel like a happy king when sitting on the throne.

Oatmeal is my breakfast five days out of seven now. I am beginning to even like the smell of it when it is cooking on the stove. It makes the house smell… comforting. The other two days I usually have a couple of eggs – courtesy of our eleven chickens.

I will return to work on the 21st of January for my last semester and then I’ll retire. I had a nice, long chat today with one of my former students. He was a student twenty years ago and today he is doing undercover work for a large police force in Southern California. I listened to him as he described the human trafficking cases he faces everyday. I was so proud of him as he talked while I also remembered what a knuckle head he could be at times while in college. I broke a couple silly rules to help him graduate, but I am sure glad I did. He is a very kind and good cop. I am feeling good about the work I’ve done over the years…and grateful to have been part of so many wonderful young people’s lives.

Today I was thinking about how many  beautiful things I have seen in my life – like the full moon, right now, that is playing peek-a-boo with the clouds, or incredible sunrises I see nearly every morning, or the majestic sunsets at night. The color of the early spring sprouting grasses is mesmerizing.  I see all this for free. On top of that, I am loved, deeply, by my family and sincere friends. Natural beauty and natural love is all about me.

I wouldn’t want to go through it again, but I am thinking that the entire surgery and recovering experience has changed, and undoubtedly, saved, my life.  I can be a stubborn and willful man. It often takes a very hard knock to get my attention. I am paying attention now.