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A little note on gratitude and resetting the vagal nerve…

Nationwide strikes throughout France were announced to start tonight at 19h.

I consider myself an easygoing and pretty good traveler, but today traveling back from visiting my daughter in France, I was putting my chill-ability to the test. I had a rental car to return just minutes before my train departure.

Driving through morning rush hour traffic in a busy French city is a test for my vagal nerve (not to mention my last nerve). I held my breath and ducked my head (which wasn’t necessary but felt instinctual) as I returned the rental car in a crazy underground parking lot that spiraled deep into middle earth.

Because of the impending national strikes, my connection through Grenoble changed from a train to a different train to finally a bus. I felt grateful for having the language skills to quickly ask and figure this out before missing my connections. My connection to Geneva was on an old-timey train that seemed to stop at every small village, but I reminded myself that there is no rush and slowing down helps me to enjoy the views outside the window and chat with a sweet little lady who is meeting her daughter in Geneva today. I'll get home eventually, I thought.

Just yesterday, as I was sitting on the beach with my daughter; who carefully prepared us a picnic, I was feeling such gratitude. As we were looking at the beautiful blue sky and how the light sparkled on the sea, and a gentle breeze blew on tall grass, I started blathering on about how sometimes I feel like I’m in a dream. I continued to ramble on about blue skies, sparkles and tall grasses (as she knows me to do), when Em suddenly grabbed me by my shoulders, looked me square in the eyes and playfully shouted « wake up! » my response and the look on my face can only be described as a perfect potential meme. I yelled in surprise, « GAH! » then realized her joke, and then through fits of laughter shouted, « Shut up! » which was followed with more fits of laughter; the kind of laughter where everything goes silent for several seconds, the whole body shakes and finally someone gasps for air. When we both caught our breath and wiped the tears rolling down our faces, we both said that we hadn’t laughed like that in a very long time.

My vagal and last nerve are restored.

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