My Moment of Gratitude: It’s the Little Things That Count.
There are times when things seem, well, to happen for a reason.
I’ve had plenty of circumstances in life that happened that seemed like a curse at the time, but were actually blessings in the long run. Life is unpredictable, chaotic, and it’s hard to prepare for unforeseen things. With all that said, these can be the best times to test ourselves and accept what we have and what we are able to do.
It was last month when the water heater conked out. For three weeks, I was without hot water because the company had to get specialists to deal with my situation. I didn’t shower for several days and didn’t really mind. Fibromyalgia makes showering such a hassle, and because I’m home-based, I can afford going without a shower every day.
Then I broke down and went medieval, heating bowls of water by microwave and Keurig and sloshing it into the tub. I was lucky to have a second bathroom with a tub in the first place. It was barely a bath, the water too shallow, but being desperate to bathe I had no choice. However, it did feel nice afterwards, having been living in my own dirt like medieval people would have done back then.
I was peeved that I couldn’t shower when I wanted to, but I took this as an opportunity to express gratitude.
- This was happening in summer and not winter, when a lack of furnace/hot water would have been bad.
- I still had running, albeit cold, water. I could wash dishes, do laundry, give my cat water, make coffee/tea, and brush my teeth.
- I reminded myself that this is what it feels like to be homeless. To not even have any water, let alone the luxury of having access to a means of bathing in any sense of the word. Yes, there are centers where homeless individuals can go to bathe, but it’s limited to a shower or two per week.
Then a few days ago, my laptop broke down. It wasn’t a virus, but my cheap Chromebook crashed from overuse. I used it every day, for long hours, for three years.I’m not surprised it crashed when it did. Chromebooks are dispensable, they’re made for short-term use. I was utterly pissed of course, but then realized this was another opportunity for gratitude.
- I still had an iPad Mini to do stuff on.
- I had my phone I could use while my iPad charged up.
- I had the means to purchase a new laptop.
- I had the means to look for and purchase another laptop, when some people don’t have the means to access the internet and have to rely on public or school internet to do anything online.
In the wake of the gratitude movement, I have thought about all the ways I can be grateful.
- I can see the bright flowers outside on my walks (when there are people who are blind).
- I can hear the birds chirping outside the window (when some people become deaf or are born without hearing).
- I can read and write (when many people in the developing world can’t).
- I have autonomy as a woman in the physical and financial sense of the word.
- I have all my limbs (where some people get by with one arm or one leg or require a wheelchair to get around).
- I haven’t contracted COVID-19.
- I don’t have an intellectual disability that impedes me from learning and enhancing my career (when some people do have a hard time learning and are stuck in dead-end jobs).
- I don’t live with an abusive spouse (when many women are trapped in abusive relationships).
- I don’t have a weight issue (when many people, especially women, are judged on the measurement of their waist or number on the scale).
- I live in a peaceful country not riddled by war, famine, and other things like displacement and child marriage or female genital mutilation.
- I’m free to believe in whatever I like to believe (whether that’s astrology, Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Taoism, Buddhism, or no religion at all).
- I have food in the fridge and in the pantry.
- I have a roof over my head.
- I have my cat whom I rescued almost 10 years ago.
- I live in a country that has free healthcare (when many people in the developing world have no access to healthcare).
Like they say, It’s the little things that count. The little things we take advantage of, like a hot shower or a laptop, are never given much thought. That is, until we lose them, even temporarily. It’s only then that we see how much we need them. When we get them back, we value things and appreciate them more. I think that’s what the Universe was teaching me in those instances above.
That’s the idea of gratitude, to be thankful for what you have. The Western world is notorious for its greediness and drive for more and more, never being satisfied with what is. I think we can learn to be a little more appreciative of what we have.