On our recent trip to the British Museum we took a walk through Ancient Egypt where C was especially keen to check out some of the mummies and such like. Funnily enough, a lot of the way through the whole thing C was pretty sceptical about whether or not the objects on display were the real deal, and when it came to the Mummy of Cleopatra he was in complete disbelief. It’s not that he doubted so much as he took for granted that this was one of the biggest and best museums in the world, and home to many a valuable item.
The thing is, as I said to him, if we were in Paris, say at the Louvre, or in Berlin or even in a museum in Egypt itself, we would never have questioned the authenticity of it. But we were in our home town, inside a building down the road from our modest little apartment, and had stopped seeing it for what it was. I reminded him that the British own a LOT of stuff that was either donated, gifted to the monarchs or was stolen in various wars and that we were indeed in the capital city of England in the British Museum. A place where millions of tourists flock, a place in the guidebooks, a place where people come especially to see the Rosetta Stone or the Mummy of Cleopatra or any of the other wonderful things in the museum. He agreed wholeheartedly with my theory and we both shared a little chuckle at his initial disbelief.
But it got me thinking – there is so much we take for granted when things become normal or part of everyday life. When I lived in Sydney, I took the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge and all of the stunning beaches for granted. I had that ‘seen it a thousand times’ attitude, but seeing them again with C by my side when we visited, and seeing it from his perspective, made me realise how lucky I had been to live there. When I was in Newcastle I took living close to my family for granted and probably didn’t spend nearly enough time with them. When I lived in Ballina I took my parents for granted and while I lived close to my sisters or brother, I took that for granted. Even now, while I live in London I sometimes have to remind myself of exactly that: ‘I’m living in London. LONDON’. I know I do talk about how much I love London a lot on here, but even so, there are loads of times I forget to be grateful for it.
Spurred on partly by my ‘It’s the Little Things’ post, partly by the above experience and partly by the content of this blog post. I’ve decided to try to become more aware of and grateful for the things around me and to not take them for granted.
I think I’m going to try being grateful for 5 things each day as Kozo has done, but not limit myself to that number. I am going to spend a LOT more time appreciating what London has to offer while I’m still here and I am going to make the most of it.
Since writing It’s the Little Things, I’ve taken down some notes of other small things that make my day.
– waking up in the morning and, while sipping over my morning coffee, seeing a bunch of emails from family and friends in Australia. It doesn’t happen every day but some days I’m lucky to have a few and they really make my day
– cycling to work and racing someone (even if they don’t know I’m racing them) and taking over successfully. (I’m competitive alright?!)
– the fog being so thick it looks like some kind of misty ghost story or the sun shining so bright as I cycle over the bridge and I feel like I need to pinch myself as I remember I’m living in my dream city
– seeing the look of delight on C’s face when he tastes a new dish I experimented with
– eating dinner in bed, watching one of my tv shows and drinking a glass of wine
– reading the terrible jokes my Dad sends me
– seeing photos of my nieces and cousins and feeling like I’m still able to watch them grow up despite being far away
– catching up with a friend and talking at a million miles an hour just to get everything out
– going for a run and seeing something like this in the morning:
– watching my votes increase and being filled with more and more hope of a chance at winning this competition – and being filled with more drive to do it all anyway regardless of the comp or not
After all, it’s the little things, all added up that turn into big things. It’s those small wonders that make you dream big, and those small delights that make you want to experience more, and it’s those little smiles that turn into big full-belly laughter!