“When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude”.
Gilbert K. Chesterton
Last year the air-con in my car broke. It was the end of the summer anyway so it kept getting moved to the bottom of my to-do list until, eventually, it was left off all together.
Enter this summer’s heat wave.
I am not great in the heat to be fair. You are more likely to find me in the shade sipping a cool drink than stretched out soaking up the rays. Therefore the first trip in my mobile sauna of a car almost caused me to faint.
Arriving home I fell through our front door, hot, sticky and an alarming shade of purple. My partner agreed to take it to be fixed at the weekend.
The next day I opened all the windows, slid open the sunroof and vowed to make the best of my journey without complaining. Driving along I started thinking about how cars had progressed since I first passed my test. Back then we had to manually wind down the windows and virtually nobody had a sunroof. If you had a cassette tape player you thought yourself lucky.
As years passed air conditioning, electric windows and CD players were introduced as optional extras that only the wealthy could afford. Now these come as standard in the majority of cars.
Driving along I started to feel grateful. Grateful I had a car. Grateful that things are being introduced all the time for our comfort. Grateful I was alive to see all the wild and wacky things this beautiful world of ours has to offer. Inventions that were once the seeds of thought in someone’s mind come to creation.
Subsequent journeys that week triggered thoughts as to what else I, despite regularly practicing gratitude, take for granted. Electric, water, gas. I envisaged a life without these and the hardships it would entail.
This has also prompted conversations with my children when they first travelled in the sweat box on wheels and complained about the heat. What did they take for granted? The answers have been enlightening to say the least.
So despite the fact I gratitude journal regularly, living without something I was very used to has really made to offer up a prayer of thanks for all I do have.
The garage appointment was cancelled. I like my daily reminder to be thankful just as it is.