In Which I Learn to Say Thank You (Without Being an Ass)

So I have an appointment with a doctor next week. That’s what my calendar says (and yes, I still use a real one made of paper). Problem is that though the doctor’s name sounds familiar, I can’t place her. And so I begin running through various body parts in my mind and try, through the process of elimination, to figure out what the appointment is for.  Without going into a list of possibilities (we’re not all adults here), I came up empty. Yes, I know I could just google her name, but that would have been cheating, sort of. Either I have too many doctors or my memory is beginning to flip me the post-50 bird, so to speak, or the meds that I am on are having some memory impacts or it is yet another of the gazillion effects of lupus. I googled those and discovered that it is one possibility.  And now if my hair starts falling out in clumps or my fingertips turn black, I will also know why.  Google can be a two-edged sword.

One thing that I do remember is how defensive I used to be. And I say used to be with some satisfaction. It was never something of which I was particularly proud and I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t defensive.  It was one of the most suckiest things about me being me:  defensive,  sensitive, over-emotional, insecure.  Well some cosmic combination of medication, therapy and a less stressful life have has left me defensive-free for the past fifteen months.

For example, tonight I needed to head back to work to put in more time to prepare the church garden for All Saints Day, which is this coming Sunday. So I couldn’t make dinner unless we were going to eat very late, assuming that I was capable of moving much after the exertion of weed pulling, planting and mulching. So Piper made dinner even though she had put in a longer day than me. And did the dishes.

So I thanked her.

This is normal healthy behavior. However, there was a time, well, years of time really, when I would have felt so guilty that I would have projected that guilt in less than healthy ways. Instead of being thankful, I would have gotten defensive and made excuses and gotten all emotional and very ungrateful about it.

Have I mentioned how awesome my wife is to have put up with such behavior so many times and practiced forgiveness so many times and modeled gratitude in ways that my pre-medication/pre-therapy/less stress free life could not yet comprehend?

By the way, the appointment is for my semi-annual eye test to make sure that my lupus meds aren’t destroying my macular. I have a kick-butt gifted eye doctor, even if I sometimes forget her name. Maybe that memory has some gratitude surrounding it, too.

Couple at falls Obs Lodge Arenal two


3 thoughts on “In Which I Learn to Say Thank You (Without Being an Ass)

  1. thank you for your honesty and sense of humor. I have fibromyalgia. I am 26 years past 50. had three major surgeries and am a first class whiner. not pretty for a pastor. you make me laugh and give me hope. thank you.


  2. I also have trouble saying thank you, from the earliest of memories, and I’m learning, too. For me, sometimes it’s having to overcome embarassment due to being praised. For example, Sunday morning, when Barbara announced to the congregation my role in Kayla’s song, I wanted to sink into the floor. I often mumble something indefinite after being praised or thanked for something I’ve done, but I’m trying to get over it.


  3. Love, love, love this. So many times I see myself reflected in your words — thus enabling me to simply be thankful for kindnesses.
    And Keith, I have so many doctors now for so many areas that I can understand why you might forget one!


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