No matter how much we remind ourselves to appreciate what we have, it’s easy to develop expectations.
There are certain things we’ve grown used to, so much so that we barely notice them anymore. We flick the switch and the light comes on. We turn on the tap and get clean water. We close the door and shut out the winter weather.
When things go wrong we’re easily annoyed. The slightest frustrations become giant obstacles in our minds.
Last week the twenty year old boiler in our new house finally died. Since then we’ve had no heating or hot water.
It’s funny how much you come to appreciate a hot shower when you’re washing your hair in icy cold water in a chilly house, in the middle of November.
I’ve been raving recently about the novel Station Eleven, which has to be one of my books of the year. In it, the author deals more eloquently than I ever could with a post-apocalyptic society where an old man marvels at the idea of flight, the idea that a metal box could take off and leave the world behind, so small up in the sky.
We don’t often think about the mechanics of the things we take for granted: the electricity, the motor car, the aeroplane.
But if you stop for a moment you realise, the world around us is full of little miracles. It’s full of people who made a difference to the way we live our lives each day, whether we know of their existence or not.
So I’m taking a moment to anticipate that first hot shower and to know that I’ll appreciate it when it comes.