When You Feel Well

I absolutely hate it when people say “I feel good.” Good is chocolate chip pumpkin bread still warm from the oven, spread with a fat dollop of freshly made butter. Good is finding out that you ran a $20 bill (that you really need) through the washer and it survived. I have the same reaction to the word “good” as a descriptor of emotional stasis as my daddy has to the word “fine.” It sets my teeth to grinding; it’s just nuts.

Except for the smell of a dead deer getting ready to explode behind the house (which I did not find until today), the last four days at Chez Verdant on the Hill have been heaven on earth: 50°F days filled with sunshine and no wind meant that the chickens get to roam free from dawn to dusk for most of the week, and that the ground is still soft enough to pull up grazing stakes and move them to virgin pasture. It meant being able to mix up 250lbs of Winter feed rations out on the porch and move it all to the bins in the barn without horrible pain in cold hands. And it meant composting the remaining cardboard boxes I’ve been unpacking in the house – I hate cardboard boxes more than I hate communists; that should tell you something.

Today was so much fun, I even made a new batch of Kailua (half moonshine, half rum, extra strength coffee syrup reduction with tinctured Mexican vanilla bean) on the stove whilst I worked on all my other weekend chores. It was a good day, and I felt well. I felt healthy and strong and settled and genuinely productive for the first time in many months. Not happy, necessarily, but much better than I did on this day three years ago, or last year, for that matter.

I’ve had this ongoing exercise in gratitude going on for quite some time now, forcing myself to acknowledge at least one thing everyday – no matter how small or insignificant, no matter how bad the day has been – to be thankful for. A wise man once told me that this is the way to not want to die, and he was right. Today was the very first day in a long, long time that I woke up and wasn’t disappointed or angry about it.

I am well, and it doesn’t suck. Imagine that.

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