What you have now you once dreamed…

Each night before I go to bed I read a daily excerpt from a book on stoicism. One way to help with feeling more gratitude and thus counteract society’s siren call of ‘more, more, more’ is to practise gratitude. Last night’s stoic quote, in its way, makes reference to today to what we’d call ‘hedonistic adaption’. This is a theory that posits that whether we suffer life-changing injuries or win the Lottery our happiness levels will dip or rise correspondingly and then return to how they were before the event. If you find yourself falling into the trap, of desiring more thinking it will make you happy (and let’s face it, who hasn’t) then really look around you and recall the things you have now that were once dreams. Even just off the top of my head I can cite, from big to little: my son, my husband, my cats, my house, my current new fountain pen, the laptop I’m currently writing this blog on. I can even include the family kettle in this list. A couple of months ago ours broke and it was a few days before the replacement arrived. I tried microwaving water to make tea but nothing beat the speed and quality of boiled water that a kettle gives you. At the time I was desperate for a functioning kettle in order to make a nice cuppa. Now it sits, taken for granted, a victim of hedonistic adaption, on the worktop, quietly making nice cups of tea. Things soon become unnoticed parts of our backgrounds when once they were just dreamed of.

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2 thoughts on “What you have now you once dreamed…”

  1. I’ve also started a gratitude practice a while back. I’m not always remembering it but when I do I can tell the difference it makes. As you say, those things we long for become taken for granted quite quickly once we do have them. I do sometimes wonder though if a bit of extra money might not at least free us from the burden of having to care for our basic needs so that we could focus more on the things that really make us happy, like being with family, seeing friends, traveling.

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