A friend said to me recently, “It feels like there is nothing to look forward to”. He was referring to Lockdown and the limitations that it imposes upon his normal life, the constraints on his ability to move around freely, where his options are being sorely compromised by the realities of dealing with this pandemic. No longer can he just go online, cherry pick from a wide selection of wonderful and exciting destinations, and then make his travel plans accordingly. My frequent-flying and adventure seeking friend is in the same boat as the rest of us: his plans are on hold while bigger things are busy running their course. “Life is what happens while you are making other plans.” I don’t know how he is doing right now, I have no idea how he has adapted to the situation that most of us find ourselves in- dealing with the shock of enforced change, rebuilding aspects of our lives where necessary, and just generally trying to rise to the challenges of navigating this strange and scary new space. Maybe he is waiting for things to ‘go back to normal’, where he can book his flight online and then hop on a plane to fly off somewhere different for a while. For now he will have to continue to wait. We ALL have to wait. But waiting can be painful, and frustrating, and even spirit- crushing. Waiting for change, for that desired outcome or result, is difficult. It can lead us to feel powerless and helpless and anxious. Thank goodness there is a choice. It’s called “Wanting what you already have.” Ok, so it doesn’t replace the satisfaction, the sense of achievement and the thrill of getting that thing that you’ve been coveting and working towards for so long, but never underestimate the power of the little things. The things that are already part of your life, the things that you may forget to notice, are sometimes easily overlooked and taken for granted because the big stuff, the stuff of dreams, just seems so much more exciting.
This morning I woke up as normal, and I took some time to just lie there and listen to the familiar sounds of the earliest of the early birds in our garden- the Bulbuls and the Olive Thrushes- as they greeted the brand new day with their sweet sounds. A few minutes later I sat up to a cup of hot Five Roses tea, bought to me as it is every morning by my dearly beloved. And I sat quietly for a while, as I do every morning, drinking my tea while looking out through the bedroom window to the lush greenery outside. ‘Wanting what I already have’ was more than enough for me at that moment.
Wanting what you already have. That’s gratitude. And maybe it’s the best way to deal with things right now. Yes, having dreams and goals and plans for wonderful things to do in future are important: those things add spice and flavour to our lives, and sometimes they are the things that make life worth living. But other things make life worth living too, and some of them are just outside your window. Or coming down the stairs with a hot cup of tea in hand. ♥