At the moment, I am trying to work on my relationship with gratitude. I’m trying to steer away from toxic positivity, and not letting myself feel emotions because “other people have it so much worse”.
But, gratitude is so important to me. It’s one of the lessons Katie and I learnt in the months after Mum’s death. We would write gratitude list after gratitude list, and we’d say to each other “we’re so lucky we have a bed to sleep in tonight.”
I want to return to that, a lot more than I currently am. It’s not that I have become ungrateful: I am so grateful for everything I have. But I want to specifically be more grateful for the little, tiny things.
For example, a light bulb.
Recently, I have been having an annoying three days. So many things have been silently breaking on me, or gently pissing me off. There is no nice way to express my frustrations.
They were tiny: the stopper on my hot water bottle snapping off, so I had to buy a whole new hot water bottle. This was a relatively new hot water bottle anyway, and all I can’t think is what a waste of material. I can’t even get the water out now so it’s just a heavy flab of uselessness that I can’t do very much about. I also ruined a pair of pyjamas I liked. My new mitten broke. I spilt something on a brand new pair of jeans. I’ve developed a cold which has bunged up my ears and I can’t hear very well. I’ve stubbed my toes, and ran into the same table repeatedly. You’d have thought I’d have learnt. On top of that I have 3 3,000 word essays due in one day after each other.
And then, the light bulb went in the room I’m in.
Firstly, I would like to follow my list of (honestly stupid) moans by saying I am aware that I am clearly just stressed and that’s why these things are getting to me so much. I would like to say, I am completely grateful for the circumstances that have brought me into contact with these very tiny grievances. I’m grateful to be able to afford new jeans, for having mittens and pjs, and the fact that all of these issues are relatively easy fixes.
But when the light bulb broke, I officially had it. It was an LED, so this bulb did not even give me the dignity of dying completely. Instead it feebly flickered on in a stoic, but dim, light. I had to work with a lamp that projects stars around the room and ended up straining my eyes for the 3 essays I’m writing. I scrambled up and down to said stupid bulb trying to work out the problem, and eventually worked out which new bulb to buy. This holy bulb couldn’t get here any quicker than 3 days.
In that moment, I was aware of how spoilt Prime delivery has made me.
It started grating on me so much, that I felt irrationally angry whenever I had my lamp on and realised that the Feeble Light was still on, doing his best to grace me with his presence. Yet, he was so dim I did not idea he was there.
Eventually the new bulb arrived, along with a new hot water bottle. I scrambled up, screwed the bulb in, scrambled down (off of a very precarious chest of drawers), and pressed the switch. I am actually embarrassed by how much relief and gratitude I felt in the moment that the room actually lit up.
So, this was a very long and very drawn out way of telling you that I will not take for granted the light bulb that I bought, scrambled up and replaced. I am not sure I will ever be able to take light for granted after working for hours under the light of stars which fade in and out and contributed to straining my eyes.
It really is the little things in lockdown life.
PS, if anyone knows how to get rid of a light bulb and whether LED bulbs are recyclable or not, I would be indebted. This bloody thing is a pain that just keeps on giving.