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Taking Things for Granted

Social media is a great tool for helping old friends who have lost touch rekindle their friendship. One such friend is Helene, who is also the guest writer for this week’s Friday Food for Thought. After doing this for 5+ years and with the current state of things, topics have come to me at a slower rate. As means to spark inspiration I have been asking friends for topic ideas, which also gives me an opportunity to catch up with them. Helene has been pestering me (in a nice way) the past few weeks to write a post about not taking things for granted and encouraging us to enjoy every moment. Her story is below, and you will see why she was suggesting the topic. I find writing helps me process some things, so, I suggested she write it ?.

Recently, I lost my sense of taste and smell. I have always relied on these two senses, but never thought much about it. Turns out, I took them for granted. As I navigate this new and hopefully temporary set of conditions, I’m reminded often of what I am missing. For instance, the smell of bacon frying, wood smoke from the fire on a cold morning, the scent of lavender, the nuances of a fine whiskey and ability to enjoy a good meal are all now elusive. These reminders also come from family or friends asking routine questions such as, “how does this taste?” or, “does it need salt?”. They are taking my ability to taste or smell for granted, just as they may take theirs for granted.

We take so many things in our lives for granted and rarely stop to think about orTaking things for granted appreciate them until they are gone. For example, something as simple as the start of our day: waking up in a comfortable bed in a safe place, the availability of a hot shower and breakfast, a hug, clean clothes and the ready company of family and pets (two German Shepherds for me ?). We do not give much thought to all these simple things; they are just always there. Until they aren’t.

Those are only examples of what we have to start our day; take a minute to consider everything we have available to us…from our physicality to our homes, family and friends and everything that fills our basic needs and more. How often do we stop to appreciate these things, or to think about what our lives would be like without them? How often do we think about what life might be like for someone that doesn’t have even some of these basic things, or that has to fight daily to ensure they have something as simple as a safe place, food and warmth?

We only notice these necessities when they are gone. A lot of us choose to focus on what we do not have or what we want, often leaving us dissatisfied. Next time you walk into the kitchen on a Sunday morning, I encourage you to take a deep breath and enjoy the scents of coffee and breakfast. Just pause and to listen to the sounds of your family around you and the familiar noise of the TV news. When you go out with friends, pause to reflect on how grateful you are to have them in your life, to be able to taste the nuances of that whiskey or beverage of choice, even to have the ability to easily get to wherever you want. These are all things we take for granted, all things that enrich our lives and that we value without realizing it.

You’ve probably noticed by now, that this is not Vijay. I’m a friend who suggested a topic and took for granted that he would then write about it. Life is never that easy! I should have known better, and if I am invited to write again the next topic may be “Be careful what you ask for” ?.  Hopefully, I’ll be enjoying a sip of whiskey while writing by then…and tasting it.

‘Til then, there are so many things to be grateful for, what will you appreciate this weekend?

“In a very tragic kind of way, sometimes things have to be gone before I fully realize that they were ever there.”-Craig D. Lounsbough

Have a great weekend.


Lots of good lessons in this one. Thank you Helene!