We Take Our Lives for Granted

Photo by  Casey Horner  on  Unsplash

Words by Jo Hodson

We all know that we do it and to a large extent it's inevitable because the brain can't continually process all things in our life as if they're 'shiny and new'.

They become our ‘normal’.

It's natural that these moments and experiences sink back into the recesses of our minds so that we can focus attention on more new things and new experiences... but what amazes me is just how quickly we take aspects of our lives for granted. How quickly the magic wears off and just becomes routine, how quickly we lose that child's eyes approach to something that was so magical, so shiny and brilliant and gorgeous- just moments before.

I had this reality check just recently. At the end of September last year, I moved to a different town, in the next county.

One of my favourite things about being here in this new space is the fact I have an absolutely glorious nature reserve just across the fields from the back of my house. It takes me exactly nine minutes to cycle here across the fields.

Once there then I can spend an hour or two just walking amongst this beautiful forest hugging trees, watching squirrels, watching the changing of the seasons, listening to audiobooks, recording voice note podcasts, taking calls with my clients...

When I first moved here, I was coming to this place three times a week at least. It was the back end of summer and we had some glorious warm Autumnal days. Then at the end of November into December I was travelling abroad, then Christmas hit and life got immersed with family commitments and and then it rolled into January this year and I felt a little bit discombobulated, like I wanted to hibernate...

I became complacent as we all do with so many aspects of our lives, our home, our friends, our family... We can become complacent and we take for granted the beauty and opportunities in front of our eyes.

I realised I hadn't been up to the nature reserve in so long. Without realising, it had become relegated as not being a priority. The beauty and joy it brings sank back in my mind and I forgot how incredible this opportunity on my doorstop really is.

I'd taking the experience for granted.

In mid January I was presented with an opportunity and made a spontaneous life decision. My friend's parents were going abroad traveling for eight months and asked me to housesit for them in my old home town. I immediately said 'yes', it made a lot of sense on so many levels.

But the reality check that very morning was that it would be my last opportunity to head down to the nature reserve in the way I had been. Of course, I can still come back that way, but I likely won't have my bike with me and it takes over half an hour to walk there across the fields. In reality I know that I'll be too lazy to take the wheel off the bike, to pack it in my car to drive 25 minutes down the road. It's not the same as spontaneously jumping on my bike and cycling nine minutes across the fields.

What if we could find the magic and hold on to it, choose to see life in the glorious technicolour it really is.

In that moment, I realised how easily and how quickly I taken this beautiful space for granted. I'd fallen into the assumption that it would always be here, but my routines are changing once again in a way that I hadn't anticipated and I realised how I just settled into a new routine and taking everything that it embodied and involved for granted.

Just a few short weeks ago I was coming down every few days and marvelling at the changing of seasons, marvelling at the sunlight dappling across the ground, the birds and the squirrels, leaving 'share the love letters' around the place.

When did I loose sight of that magic?

I became complacent as we all do with so many aspects of our lives, our home, our friends, our family...  We can become complacent and we take for granted the beauty and opportunities in front of our eyes.

I wonder how we can take that back, how we can rediscover the magic and keep fresh in our mind that we have these wonderful opportunities available to us in each moment.

How can we look at life through the lens of a wide eyed curious child?

Walking here today and I'm journalling my feelings as I am sitting in a beautiful sunny spot on the large fallen branch of a tree at the top of a hill. It's silent apart from the odd train going by the distance. There's the birds and the trees, I saw a muntjac deer nosing about in the valley below. It's also squirrel season so I've already seen it about six or seven, maybe eight squirrels and I've only been here a few minutes...

It's magical. It's like a veil has been lifted and I'm seeing it all once again for the very first time.

I haven't had that feeling in weeks. Suddenly, as if it's going to be taken away from me, every detail becomes all so precious.

I wonder why it requires a reality check like this to reconnect us with the magic around us?

How can we maintain that magic, without needing something like a health scare, or changing circumstance, or a house move... those sort of things trigger our appreciation for the small moments in life but what if we could choose to create these moments every single day?

What if we could find the magic and hold on to it, choose to see life in the glorious technicolor it really is.

So that's what I'm asking of you in this moment: To acknowledge and consider where in your life you've become complacent. Where in your life have you taken people and things for granted and how can you reclaim the magic it deserves? How can you honour these opportunities and experiences that are right on our doorstep available to you every moment.

As I sit here I feel so invigorated and alive.

I feel full of magic and possibility.

So I ask you in this moment, to put your rose tinted glasses on and to reclaim the magic in your life. To simply acknowledge that we each take so much for granted and we do it so easily and so quickly.

It doesn't have to be that way.

Now, go find the magic in your life today.


Jo helps people 'experience all of themselves'. Her passion was born from a personal journey of plant-based nutrition being the gateway to stepping away from convention and conformity, into a deeper connection with her true sense of self. She creates retreats, workshops and writes about what it means to live a deeply connected life as well as sharing lots delicious plant-based dishes from her kitchen. Day to day, you can find her at www.includingcake.com and hang out on Instagram @johodson

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