I feel like I owe England an apology sometimes. Before I went away, I used to complain about it all the time and blame it for so many things that I didn’t like in my life. I felt stuck there and confined in a space I felt I had outgrown long ago. So I saved, I left and I travelled.
I write this from the other side of the world, fully acclimatised to my new time zone and still battling on with adjusting to the temperature difference. I love Australia and I love being here more than anything. This feels like where I am meant to be right now and I couldn’t be happier.
But there is a daily annoyance that gets me and makes me feel a little guilty I was ever so harsh on life in good old England. I miss going to the kitchen, turning on the tap and getting what I wanted… I miss cold water.
If you have never been to Australia before then, you will not be familiar with the struggle but let me explain. Every time (and in every place I have been to so far) that I turn on the cold tap to fill my water bottle up or to mix my cordial, the water is warm. I can run the tap and run the tap… but it is still warm. I remember the days in England where the water came out like it was fresh from the freezer never mind the fridge, but here the water is always, always warm. I’ve learnt to put my juice in the fridge overnight so it is cold for the next day and to always have a jug of water in there too, but I never thought that I would have to plan my drinking routine with such precision and detail.
And that there is my point. I have grown up lucky enough to never know what it is like to not know where your next meal is going to come from, to have to question if the only water you have access to is clean. England, Australia, wherever – I have been lucky. I can’t complain that the water where I am is a little warmer than I’d like because how lucky am I that I have a tap to turn on and provide me with water at all? However warm the water might be, I know I can fill up my water bottle and I will not risk illness or death from drinking its contents. I am lucky, luckier than I can even begin to comprehend.
In our day to day lives, we don’t often stop and think of how lucky we are. It’s so easy to complain about warm water, our bus being late, people chewing too loudly, new shoes that rub our feet… it’s harder to stop and think at least we have those things to complain about. Someone out there doesn’t even own a pair of shoes that fit them. Somene out there is ill and cannot get help to get better. Someone out there would love to have a roof over their head. Someone out there would love a drink from the same tap that I shake my head at.
The key to seeing all of the good in your life is all about having perspective. Whatever social scale you are on, whatever class you belong to, however you rate yourself there is always something you could think of or have that you think might make you a little happier. But using that same logic, there is also someone out there that is wishing for exactly what you have right now. Your life is someone else’s dream. What you have, everyday nuisances and all, is more than some people will ever have. It might not be perfect but it’s yours and that in itself is perfect enough.
Now I am never going to love warm water mixed with my cordial, but I am going to appreciate it. Maybe grimace a little as I drink it, but appreciate it all the same because I am lucky. Lucky to be where I am, to be on the path I am, to have access to the things that I do.
There is always something to be thankful for in every day, even if it is warm water in your water bottle.