June 1, 2012
I do see it when other people come over, who exclaim at the murals, the artwork, how light and airy it is, clean and spacious. I take for granted that I have a garden, even resenting at times the constant weeding and pruning, but when I see other yards that are just patchy grass and maybe a jade plant or two that I come back to appreciating the landscaping I have done over the years.
I even take living in Santa Cruz for granted, having now spent over half my life here. When we go to San Diego is when I remember that I live in paradise, that I am blessed to live in a place where I can walk everywhere, where people smile and are genuinely friendly. Santa Cruz is the third most expensive place to live in the country, people come here to vacation or retire and then there are those of us who are in service.
I love my community and take for granted that it is a peaceful place, and the recent deaths of two teenagers whose parents I know came as a shock and a dismay. The good times posted an article about serial killers tom the 70s, when Santa Cruz was known as the murder capital of the world. I take for granted feeling safe, I walk the streets of my neighborhood at 2 am feeling secure, feeling that anyone I run into simply can't sleep either, rather than intending me harm.
I take being an American for granted. I lived in Europe until I was 15, and used to be much more aware of how amazing it is to live in this country. I have become complacent, not following politics although I always vote, not appreciating the freedoms and liberties we enjoy here, especially as a white middle class person living in California.
I take the Internet for granted, and get miffed when loading time is slow or net flicks stops to reload. The Internet is a modern miracle that my daughter cannot imagine living without, that for me has replacing the phone, an instrument I really hate to use. This weekend being here with to Internet let's me appreciate how it keeps me connected, socially and professionally, as well as it's slightly addictive qualities.
It all starts with an awareness. Let me change what I take for granted into an even deeper gratitude...