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Raise Your Glass

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Last year, right before Christmas, we took our children up to Vermont to go skiing. On our last day, on my last run on a new trail, I came upon a six-foot defect in the trail. I had three choices. The first was to ski off the trail into a tree. (I felt that was an unwise choice.) The second was to ski into the hole. (I felt that was an unwise choice, too, since I was concerned I would break my leg.) So I did the only thing I could think to do; I tried to make my "S" curve smaller, and turn before the hole.

At the time, this seemed the best of my three options, so I chose that one.

My skis tangled, I lost control, and I fell. Hard. I knew the minute I fell that something was deeply wrong, and originally thought I had broken my arm, since it was in the strangest position above my head, I felt dread inside, and thought I was either going to pass out, vomit or both.

Turns out my arm wasn't broken, but my elbow was dislocated. A lovely ER team put me to sleep, then put my elbow back together again, and we went home to Boston, with my arm swollen about twice its size, with the barest fraction of voluntary motion in my lower arm. It could swing if I moved, but I couldn't raise my hand.

In the blink of an eye it was New Year's, and we were toasting away to all the wonderful things 2015 could bring. Except that I couldn't raise my glass; in fact, I couldn't even pick it up. Or even move my arm to the glass, actually. Or drive, brush my hair, wash my face or zip my clothes. Or any other number of things one does every day. Forget driving!

It's been five months, and I'm finally able to lift my glass again, and get ready every day on my own. But not a day goes by when I don't remember the experience of being unable to do something that was previously an unconscious experience.

What do you do every day, the absence of which would drastically alter your life? Essentially, what do you take for granted? Take a moment to make a mental or written list of the things that you love doing. Then take a moment to raise your glass that you can do those things.