Today, I’m feeling a lot of gratitude.

I actually wrote this yesterday and scheduled it for today, but it applies today, too, so …

My new mini-book, “Am I Dying or What?” is live on Amazon now. Sub-titled, “How to manage and even eliminate chronic stress, anxiety, and panic attacks,” I wrote this little book about a series of severe panic attacks I went through back in January. These episodes really scared me. It was the first time anything like this had ever happened.

When I finally figured out what I thought was probably going on, and also what to do about it, I decided to write a little book to help other people with the same issues.

When I wasn’t having a panic attack — overwhelming feeling of impending doom that forced me out of bed in the morning, tightness in my chest, heart pounding out of control, shortness of breath — I was having what I found out was something called morning anxiety.

It’s so nice now — nice is an understatement — to wake up in the morning feeling good. Even before all that stuff started around the beginning of the year, I rarely woke up in the morning feeling good for no reason. I literally could count the number of times that happened on one hand.

Now, it happens every day!

I had one little bout with some morning anxiety a few weeks ago, but other than that, it’s been smooth sailing for the past 10 or 11 weeks or so, ever since I started a new morning routine centered around spiritual messages, positive thinking messages, meditation, and gratitude.

A lot of people — I know I’m not the only one — take so much for granted.

Today, I woke up in a comfortable bed. I listened to my spiritual message on a cell phone (that was Dick Tracy stuff not too long ago, man); walked a few feet, took a nice, warm shower and did the other usual bathroom things; walked into the kitchen and made myself a cup of coffee and bowl of oatmeal; sat on my comfortable couch and listened to some positive thinking messages and a meditation.

Here in a little while, I’ll get into my awesome F-150 pickup and drive 5 minutes down to the gym to train a client, have my own workout, then go to the grocery store to pick up a few things I forgot yesterday when I went to the grocery store. After lunch, I’ll go get an hour-long massage. I’ll come back home, work on some freelance writing stuff for the newspaper, then go back to the gym to train another client.

That’s my day today!

Man, it wasn’t all that long ago that I was living in an old, drafty, two-bedroom trailer that had no heat in the winter. Before that, I was staying at a friend’s apartment, sleeping in the top bunk in his kid’s room, bumming a ride to work and back because I had no car.

There was a time I bought used tires for $10. Something like a dead car battery or alternator or whatever was a serious emergency situation. No money to get a new one.

Now, I can go and get an hour-long massage? Go to the grocery store and get whatever I want, without adding up prices as I put things in the cart? Live in a nice little house surrounded by tall oak trees?

Good grief, man.

Talked about blessed.

Remember, it is impossible to be unhappy and grateful at the same time.