On Wet Snow, Back Aches, and Unexpected Karma

Left: less to shovel than expected

I'm in a momentary funk so I decided to focus on something positive in this short essay. My back has been killing me for over two weeks now, and I have been putting off making a call to my primary care physician. He will probably just take X-rays, refer me to a back specialist, and I would spend the next three months with office visits and physical therapy.

I am also avoiding the painkiller trap, as it is too easy to start munching the Vicodin pills like they were narcotic candies. Besides, when my lower back acts up, the opiated painkillers provide little relief, and I just end up being in a semi-stoned state and still stuck with a nagging backache.

So it was with wondrous joy that I awoke this morning and saw my neighbor's son and his snow blower attacking the four inches of heavy snow that accumulated overnight. This random act of kindness - he ended up clearing about half of my driveway - probably saved me from further aggravating my lumbar problems.

Of course, it was probably my stubborn insistence on shoveling the driveways of his mom and another older neighbor (in addition to my own) that caused the backache in the first place, but that is another issue. The point is that karma works in unexpected ways, and instead of being glum about events beyond my control I should spend a few minutes appreciating the way the universe balanced out.

All right: I am still in the midst of melancholia, but for at least the past 10 minutes I paused from my self-imposed glum-fest. Perhaps this exercise in mood management will be the spark from which a better frame of mind emerges.