Thursday, September 6, 2018

I got a Blister on my thumb

Proof of my blister
So I was building a fire pit last weekend with pavers and gravel from Menards. Perhaps you are familiar with the process but at one point, you have to clear away the grass and level out the earth. Well, while doing this, after about 30 seconds of digging, I obtained a massive blister on my thumb. I guess my hands haven't developed tough callouses to ward off blisters from typing on my keyboard or turning the pages of my book. So yeah, my hands are, apparently, soft. So I got this huge blister and then I started feeling sorry for myself, especially after it popped. I was lambasting myself for not wearing gloves. A tried and true tactic to ward off blisters, even from the most vulnerable of hands. But nope, no gloves for me. I just grabbed that shovel and rushed into the action with reckless abandon, eager to clear that earth and construct the fire pit. So I was looking down at my thumb, trying to hold back the tears so my kids wouldn't see me cry over a blister, thinking about how horrible this was--to have a blister this big on my thumb. Having had blisters in the past, I knew the worst was coming---taking a shower! When a water blister pops open, the water from the shower stings so much. Just unbearable.  Plus, after the shower, when you are trying to dry off with the towel, it hurts even more for the towel to rub against the exposed, raw flesh underneath the skin that had blistered off.  Then, something miraculous happened. I had an epiphany! No, not about the best way to organize the pavers to make it look nice, no, not about a new strategy for consuming the most amount of S'mores in the shortest amount of time, but an epiphany on something far more important. I started thinking about the struggle I was going through and then started to compare that struggle to actual struggles people face. Real struggles. So I thought about my blister. Then, I thought about those who suffered during the Holocaust. Or those who toiled away building the Panama Canal. Or, those who endured countless oppression at the hands of racists. Or, those who stormed Omaha Beach and gave the ultimate sacrifice. Or, those who struggle through their lives, working three jobs to just get the bare essentials for their three kids. I thought about those who have suffered through long chemo treatments. Long rehab assignments for a variety of reasons. I thought about those who toiled away in the fields, under the unrelenting sun, behind a team of oxen pulling a plow, hour after hour to grow crops and build a better life for their children. I thought about John McCain and what he endured in Vietnam, never once giving up any information. I thought about Louie Zamperini and the extreme beatings he took, both physically and emotionally, day after day.  There's been some real struggles. The human spirit has prevailed in an awesome way throughout the annals of history. So after all that thinking, there was no progress made on the fire pit, but definitely a renewed sense of appreciation and gratitude for those who came before me.
So yeah, my blister, as it turns out, is not a big deal.

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