Failing to appreciate what you have

First, let me share a post by someone else that you should read: The #1 Rule of Everything by Steven R. Stewart.

(I feel like I’ve shared this post before.  If so, sorry for the repeat.  If not, enjoy.)

Why am I sharing it today?  Maybe for this:

“…when you hit a speed bump, for the love of god, don’t beat yourself into the ground over it. Success is a sliding bar; it will always drift away from you. Reach one level, and you’ll find the bar has moved on to the next. So rather than chasing ‘success,’ chase happiness.”

I think I originally bookmarked it for this witty little comment: “I had allowed my expectations, the rules I had heard, my fears, all of it to creep in and soil my resolve. In short, I had should my own pants.”

(It would seem I have a bit of a crass streak…)

I think this concept of failing to appreciate what you have has been on my mind a bit lately.  Hell, I wrote a whole novel about it.  (The second novel, not the first.)

I also have a few friends that I’ve watched lose great relationships because of this.  One was a woman I worked with and she was deliriously, happily in love.  Except.  The guy she’d fallen for wasn’t who she thought she should be with.  He didn’t earn enough.  He wasn’t educated enough.  She adored him, but…

That “but” eventually cost her a great match.

I had another friend from college do something similar.  A seven-year relationship that was great but stalled because it didn’t fit some sort of preconceived notion of what it should be.

I think it’s easy, especially in this world that presents so many options, to not appreciate what you have.  You go on Facebook and someone else has a life that seems somehow better.  But it’s not.  They’re taking pictures with celebrities but you have a loving family to come home to.  Or you’re traveling the world but they’re posting photos of the puppy they just bought.

It looks better, but when you get there, it isn’t.

You can’t have it all.  You chose to have what you do and you should appreciate how great what you have is.

(And if you aren’t actively choosing what you have or do in your life, why aren’t you?  That doesn’t mean always making choices that are in your best interest, but you should at least be knowingly weighing your options and choosing the path that works best for you given your goals and values and priorities.)

If I step back and just list out the last few years of my life (or even the five before that when I spent the daylight hours locked away in a cubicle), I’ve lived a pretty damned good life.

It hasn’t been perfect.  Nothing ever is.  (And if you think it is, can I please have whatever you’re drinking?  Or borrow those glasses?)

But I find I have to remind myself how good it is at times.  Because I want MORE.

And it’s not a bad thing to want more.  If you don’t push for more you’ll never see how far you can go, you’ll never test your limits.  You won’t achieve near as much if you just settle for what you already have.

But don’t let wanting more keep you from appreciating what you have right now.  Because if you do someday you’ll look back and wonder why you didn’t see how pretty damned fantastic things were back then…

About M. H. Lee

M.H. Lee is a speculative fiction writer currently residing in Colorado whose stories are sometimes dark, sometimes funny, sometimes darkly funny, but hopefully always thought-provoking and entertaining.
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