Depreciation of Appreciation

I was lying in bed the other night, and happened to start thinking about my six hours in A&E not long ago. I was thinking about how absolutely awful that light-headed, sick feeling is, and found myself thinking about it so much that it started to actually manifest.

So, of course, I stopped thinking about it and immediately felt better.

In turn, that got me thinking – when I should have been sleeping – about how much you appreciate things right after being unwell. Think, for example, about the last time, as we’ve all experienced, that you were lying in bed and started to feel sick. You eventually have to get up and run to the bathroom to throw up. It feels quite unpleasant, but usually, the moment you’ve thrown up, you feel better again. You go back to bed. And that bed you take for granted the rest of the time has never felt more comfortable.

I lay there attempting to feel like that. Yes, playing Assassin’s Creed had annoyed me, then I’d got annoyed at myself for going to bed so late, there’s no heating and the house isn’t insulated so it’s cold, blah blah blah. But I was lying in my nice, comfortable bed, listening to a gentle breeze against the window, the ticking of my clock. My health is fine, I was getting up in the morning and going into an office filled with friends, and there’d be lots of laughing and joking, and so on.

So it wasn’t difficult to find myself appreciating in that same way you do in the minutes, hours, or sometimes days after being unwell.

Then I fell asleep. Then I woke up the next morning and forgot all about it and went around as normal.

So why is it that when things are bad, we can appreciate the time when they get better, or think longingly about when they were, but when things are good – or even just ok – nothing is good enough? And it seems that, as time goes on and we have more and more, we appreciate less and less.

Wouldn’t we all feel a lot better about ourselves, each other and our situations if we just appreciated things?

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