I got up and made the coffee, did my stretching exercises, mediated, and read the sports page and ate my cereal. My calendar had a  list of appointments. As I showered to get ready for the day, I began to feel sick.  I lost my breakfast. I was chilled. Nothing to do but call and cancel my appointments, put on my PJs and crawl into bed.  

It is amazing how we take things for granted. All day, every day, I take things for granted.  I assume that tomorrow I will be well like I am today.  I make my plans as if tomorrow will afford me the same gifts of health that I had today. I plan as if the ordinary pattern of life I am living will be the same one I will be living tomorrow.  This seems natural.

But, sometimes that "taking for granted" gets interrupted. Sometimes what we assume will be challenged. Sometimes we will glimpse a different life--and that life isn't always as we would like. 

When that happens to me, my "taking for granted" turns into gratitude. When I see the empty space where I used to see what I assumed to be real, I see gifts that I had ignored.  I see the energy and healthy spirit that I usually have.  I see appointments and people whom I appreciate.

Now, I know that it is very difficult to go around all the time not taking things for granted.  We would be on edge wondering what was going to happen next.  Taking things for granted makes it possible to think ahead and plan our lives. But, those times when my assumptions are challenged have been insights into the important gifts of my life.

I soon got better.  I had a virus--and it had to run its normal course. And I admit, when I was feeling crappy, I was not very appreciative of those gifts of dependable ordinariness.  But, when I came out from under the covers a few days later, I appreciated life and people around me much more.