I am getting over a cold that morphed into bronchitis, an ear infection and a sinus infection.

I was very, very uncomfortable for five or six days, and then I was REALLY uncomfortable for a day. Then I got antibiotics, steroids, albuterol (which spellcheck thinks should be "butterball"), and I think that was it.

Within 24 hours (as advertised) I began feeling better. And THAT is the best thing about getting sick. That moment when the energy starts to return, and I begin to feel good again, and thoughts leap unbidden into my head and my heart like, "Life is good! I'm going to do more things! I'm going to write/exercise/garden/etc. more! I'm going to be a better husband and father and son and brother and friend! I'm going to shower the people I love with love!!"

That moment when, suddenly, I realize what an amazing gift it is just to have an ordinary, pain-free, energy-sufficient life. That is one of the best feelings there is, period.

And then I think: there are people who suffer from chronic pain or even terminal diseases who don't get to have that feeling. Who are never out from under that cloud. Who aren't lucky enough to experience something that any dumbass should have realized without having to get bronchitis.

And then I feel grateful and guilty and lucky and sad. And I promise not to waste it and I wish I could do something for them and I think what a shallow basin my life often seems to wash around in.

And I think that if I ever catch myself complaining about (damn near) anything, I ought to kick my own ass. And then I get happy, because there is nothing worse than a wasted undeserved gift.