I don’t know if Joni Mitchell’s The Big Yellow Taxi was the first song to use the lyric, but it’s the one I remember: “Don’t it always seem to go/That you don’t know what you’ve got/Till it’s gone”.
And it’s true. We don’t know how good we have it until we have it no more.
Our health is probably the best example. Most people take it for granted. You don’t realize how well off you are because you’re never sick or injured. One day, something happens. That’s when you appreciate what you had. It’s the same when a loved one dies or a relationship breaks up. You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.
It also works the other way. We don’t always know what we’re missing until we get it.
My new laptop arrived yesterday. The old one was slow and noisy and I figured it was on it’s way out. But I never realized how bad it was until I started using the new one. It’s almost silent. It’s quick. The screen is much brighter. What have I been doing to my eyesight? I never realized how bad the old unit was. I didn’t know what I was missing.
Another Thanksgiving holiday has come and gone. We dutifully gave thanks for the good things in our lives. We shared our appreciation with people we love and care about. And then we were done. Okay, check that off the list. Back to work. See ya next holiday.
We need to give thanks every day. For the big things and the small things. For our health and our relationships, for indoor plumbing, for our baby’s smile, and for new laptops.
And we need to stop complaining about what we don’t have.
The new computer keyboard is different. The delete key is in a different place from what I’m used to. The down arrow is smaller than I like. Some people will see these as problems and focus on them. I see them as differences and I will adjust. Some people say Windows 8 is bad. I say it’s just different and I will get used to it.
Think about what you have and be grateful. You’ll get more of it. Because we get what we think about.
Thank you for being a part of my life. We may have never spoken, but I know you are there and I appreciate you.