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 tend to overlook some of the most important things in their lives. So what are some things we should never take for granted?
I think the first thing that we shouldn’t take for granted is time. The second thing is our health. Thirdly, we should never take for granted the love we have in our lives.
Our families are another thing we should remember to be grateful for. Lastly, we should remember not to take the opportunities we are presented with for granted.
Never take time for granted
There are two ways that people take time for granted. The first one is ignoring the time we have in a day and saying things like, “I don’t have time.” We don’t make time for the important things, like exercise, self-care, learning, and spending time with those who matter to us.
We all have the same 24 hours in a day, but many of us do not make the most out of that time. Assuming that you sleep for 8 hours a day, that leaves 16 hours to live your life.
Eight of those hours might be spent 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 kind of 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 that we could be reading about a topic that interests us or learning a new skill.
There is time to get together with a friend and have a good time. These things could also be considered 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 think 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, and if you have dreams, you should 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 I have been fairly healthy my whole life. For the most part, 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 a nephrostomy tube was placed. 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 rebandage it after my showers. Then I had surgery which took weeks to recover from fully.
It was a nightmare, and it made me realize how we shouldn’t take our health for granted. Thankfully, this was a fixable issue. However, it made me very aware of how our fully functioning bodies can fail.
Whether it is something like cancer or a car accident with devasting consequences, our health can change instantly. I promised myself that I would be much more grateful for good health and not just assume that my body will function optimally for as long as I want 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 comes with all kinds of drama and difficulties sometimes, especially in today’s world. We are not always as kind as we should be to the people 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 can be easy to think that the person you have had beside you will always be there, and you don’t have to do anything right at this moment.
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, then 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.
There are people who have been abused by those people who should have loved them. So, yeah, 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 that you get to 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 has the power to change your world, and 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 did happen 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 was able to quit my job and be a full-time writer. I had no idea 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? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.