Thursday Night Panic, First World Style

Some may read this article and think that I am being disparaging towards one specific group of citizens or another. That is not my intention, nor my point, and I certainly hope you will continue reading.

Recently I was talking to a friend, and it dawned on me how much we take for granted.

For example:

It was a Thursday evening and my Internet went out. I followed all the troubleshooting that the automated system offered and had no luck resolving the issue. After reaching a live representative (an honest to gawd human being) and just a little bit more investigating, we determined that the issue was in the wires between the junction box across the street and my house. The very soonest that they could get a service technician to visit would be three days later.

My very first instinct was panic- “Oh, no! Three days without Internet?!”

That very brief moment of panic was also an eye-opener for me- I have been so accustomed to being completely connected, whenever it suits me conveniently, that it initially appeared to be a major inconvenience to forgo a common service, even for a few days. Really???!!???

As I pondered my predicament further, it occurred to me that my smartphone remained fully connected by way of wireless service, and that if I truly felt the need to be connected, indeed I was. Ultimately it was a delightfully relaxing few days, without the constant beckoning to go into the office and check my messages “just one more time.”

My goodness- what else had I been overlooking or taking for granted?

The list began to seem almost endless.

I wake up in the morning, flip a switch on the wall, and then there’s light.
While I am searching for the switch on the wall, it occurs to me that that heater just went on, conveniently regulated to bring me creature comfort in the air temperature, without my even having to think about it consciously.

Then began my daily routine with a routine stop at the restroom- it’s no big deal, right? Just do my business, push a lever, and everything is nice and clean, sanitary and good to go. And gone. How convenient.

Then I wander, still halfway asleep, toward the kitchen. On the wall is another switch to flip. I grab a glass out of the cupboard, turn on the faucet, and draw a glass of water. No problem, right?

Oh, but it doesn’t end there. Next, I open the refrigerator, scrutinize the well-stocked food choices arranged on the shelves and on the door, determining what tempts my palate to start the day as breakfast.

Uh oh- I actually had something else in mind that I didn’t see in my refrigerator. That’s no problem. I simply get dressed, hop in my vehicle, and drive a few short minutes to a nearby store. The required items are conveniently placed in nice orderly fashion on the store shelves. I make my purchase and head home to have the breakfast I had envisioned, while mindlessly enjoying all the other conveniences that were readily at my fingertips and certainly taken for granted.

Want a little music? Or to watch a movie? No problem- a push of a button will bring the cable-connected television or CD player to life.

The point of this note is NOT that any of the conveniences that I so much take for granted are bad. It’s just a self-evaluation that has me questioning why I so readily take them for granted. And, am I missing portions of life by feeling the need to be so constantly comforted and connected?

I continuously remind myself, as well as encouraging others, to consider, while going through routinely busy days, to take just enough pause to realize when good things are available and to simply appreciate them, rather than taking them for granted.

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