Life is busy, stressful, and hectic, and it can be really easy to take things for granted when it feels like something is always going wrong.
Even when things are going well, people overlook some of the most important things in their lives.
So what are some things we should never take for granted?
Here are some things people commonly take for granted:
- our health
- the love we have in our lives
- Our families
- the opportunities presented to us
Never take time for granted
There are two ways that people take time for granted.
The first one is ignoring our time in a day and saying things like, “I don’t have time.”
We don’t make time for important things like exercise, self-care, learning, and spending time with those who matter to us.
We all have the same 24 hours daily, but many of us do not make the most out of that time.
Assuming that you sleep for 8 hours a day leaves 16 hours to live your life.
We might spend eight of those hours at work, but what about the other 8?
I know it is really easy just to sit and binge-watch a TV show, but there are many other ways to spend our time.
You could take an hour to go for a walk or get some other exercise in.
Cooking a nice healthy meal is a great way to spend time with your family and care for your health.
That still leaves plenty of hours to read about a topic that interests us or learn a new skill.
There is time to get together with a friend and have a good time.
We could also consider these things self-care, which is essential for our mental and physical health.
The second way we take time for granted is by thinking we have an endless supply of it.
We do not.
My mother died at 40, and my father died at 50.
I have lost some other family much younger than that, too.
Do you have something you want to see or do in this life?
Stop putting it off and thinking you will do it later.
There might not be a later.
Instead, make a goal and work toward it the best you can.
None of us is promised tomorrow; if you have dreams, go for them!
Live each day as if time is precious.
“It is very easy to take for granted the phenomenon that we are each alive, but we must try not to.” — Alex Grey
Our health shouldn’t be taken for granted either
I am only in my 30s and have been fairly healthy my whole life.
Mostly, my body has always done what it was supposed to do.
Then earlier this year, I got a kidney stone.
A simple kidney stone, I thought, “Ok, no problem people get these all the time.”
Well, mine was a giant boulder, and it stuck in my ureter.
This led to multiple procedures to remove it, exchange stents, and assess the damage.
Suddenly, I needed to have reconstructive surgery, and they placed a nephrostomy tube.
For five weeks, I had to have a tube directly in my kidney.
It came out of my back, then connected to another tube that drained the urine into a bag.
I had to empty it often and switch from the daytime bag to the nighttime bag.
I needed help to re-bandage it after my showers.
Then I had surgery which took weeks to recover from fully.
It was a nightmare, making me realize how we shouldn’t take our health for granted.
Thankfully, this was a fixable issue.
However, it taught me how our fully functioning bodies could fail.
Our health can change instantly, whether it is something like cancer or a car accident with devastating consequences.
I promised myself that I would be much more grateful for good health and not just assume that my body would function optimally for as long as I wanted it to.
“When something does not insist on being noticed, when we aren’t grabbed by the collar or struck on the skull by a presence or an event, we take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.” — Cynthia Ozick
Love is a precious gift and should be treated as such
Love sometimes comes with drama and difficulties, especially in today’s world.
We are not always as kind as we should be to those who love us.
It can become very easy to assume that these people will always be around for us, but that is simply not true.
Something could happen to them: like they become ill or their time runs out.
They might decide that they are no longer happy in the relationship. You might decide the same thing.
Relationships require effort, energy, and care.
With things like kids, work, life stress, and the daily grind, it’s easy to think that the person you have beside you will always be there, and you don’t have to do anything right now.
However, this can be a slippery slope.
Everyone deserves to know they are loved and be treated as if they are important to us.
As difficult as it can be to find love when you have the real thing, don’t take it for granted and ignore nurturing that love so it can grow and strengthen.
“You can’t take love for granted! You need to be patient. And just as flowers take time to blossom, love will one day blossom in your heart!” — Avijeet Das
Families can be messy but don’t take them for granted
Yeah, your mom might harass you and annoy you sometimes.
Maybe your siblings have a different personality than yours, and you aren’t as close as you wish you were.
However, if your family is loving and not toxic, try not to take them for granted.
Spending an entire life with people can get annoying, but if they have your back and care about you, then be grateful you have them.
Some families are beyond messy.
There are members of families that can no longer speak to one another because someone can not respect boundaries.
Some people have been abused by those who should have loved them.
So, maybe your mother-in-law drives you slightly crazy, but if you can have a relationship with your family, don’t take that for granted.
“Don’t take for granted the things closest to your heart. Cling to them as you would your life, for without them life is meaningless.” — Notes from Nora
Every day is a new day full of opportunities
Every day you wake up and be alive is another chance to live the life you want.
It doesn’t have to be a repeat of yesterday.
Our days are filled with choices we make, chances we take, or things we pass up.
Don’t take the things that happen in a day or the choices you have to make for granted.
A single choice can change your world; you never know how it will work out.
A few years ago, I was working a job that left me unfulfilled and restless.
I randomly started a journey around the lake near my house.
My goal was to go every day for a year.
I almost made it, but what happened was that I started writing about it.
I joined a writing group.
Then I found Medium and started publishing my work. Before I knew it, I had clients and could quit my job and be a full-time writer.
I did not know it would all play out that way, but I am so grateful. It opened my eyes to how many things we miss in our hurry to get through the day.
“When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.” — Gilbert K. Chesterton
What are some things you don’t want to take for granted?
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