The Things I Take for Granted

October 15, 2021

Photo by mrjn Photography on Unsplash

Last week we had a problem with our home’s sprinkler system, and while we were trying to get it fixed, we had to shut off the water to our house for a couple of days. Every time I went to wash my hands or rinse a piece of fruit I had to stop and figure out an alternative. I take running water for granted.

I also take people for granted. On Sunday, I attended a visitation for the mother of a good friend. One moment she was here, living a vibrant life, and the next she was gone. I take for granted the presence in my life of people I love, including my own mom, stepmother, and mother-in-law.

During the pandemic the supply chain (a phrase many of us had never heard before) has been disrupted resulting in shortages of seemingly random items (cat food, computer chips) and skyrocketing prices (basically everything). As Americans, most of us are not used to NOT being able to buy what we need (and want). Most of us are not used to not being able to do what we want. We’re used to Amazon two-day delivery, the ability to retrieve information online in seconds, and drive-thru fast food. We’re surrounded by miracles and we don’t even realize it. We have taken for granted all the many advantages and conveniences of our society.

And that’s not necessarily bad. Not worrying over and spending lots of time hunting for our basic needs has freed us up to do other positive things. But it wouldn’t hurt us (me) one bit to become more mindful of what we take for granted. To stop to appreciate those things, many of which people in other countries would be most grateful to have access to.

Over the past year and a half, we’ve had to learn how to savor the simple pleasures available to us, to put off others to the future in order to limit the spread of an illness that can be randomly debilitating or even fatal. We’ve had more time to think about what really makes us happy. Like most people, I’ve been changed by the pandemic in ways I don’t understand yet. And though I do still take many things for granted, I hope I will remember days when all I wanted was a drink of water from the faucet, a trip to the movie theater with my husband, or to see my mom in person without feeling like I was bringing a host of frightening germs with me.

I know when things feel safer and more “back to normal” I’ll probably fall back into taking things for granted. But until then, when I put my key in my car’s ignition and it starts, when I flip a switch and the lights come on, or I turn a handle and water pours out, I hope I can remember to be grateful.

What are some things you take for granted?

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  1. "We’re surrounded by miracles and we don’t even realize it."

    I think this is true of the whole wide world. People who walk in the light forget how dark the darkness is.

    1. Sandi--I think you're right, and I admit I've certainly had my moments of forgetting.

  2. Yes Kathy we were just discussing this very subject with our visiting missionaries today. Being unaware of our blessings and not being grateful leads each of us down the slippery slope of entitlement which leaves us in a ditch of deep dissatisfaction and unhappy. Thank you for this wonderful reminder to never take our blessings for granted. Hugs!

    1. Debbie--I think many of us have had a real reckoning over the past 18 months regarding our often unrecognized feelings of entitlement!