Yes, Adelaide is not the most exciting place on earth and one may argue that the city is just a glorified backwater spot. However, I have learned to be thankful of my place in this city – there are literally millions of people who would gladly trade their life with mine at the moment: families living in wartorn countries or villages affected by natural catastrophes, just to name a few. Heck, just ask the incoming illegal migrants who risk their lives sailing all the way from Sri Lanka or Afghanistan all the way to Australia. I get mildly irritated when I read some of my friends’ status in Facebook who continuously emphasise their boredom of having to be here in Adelaide. I understand that sometimes we wish to be somewhere else – back in Indonesia, or travelling in Europe (*sigh*), or perhaps just anywhere other than the here-and-now so we can avoid the mundanity of life. However, if we continuously wish we could be somewhere else, we may be missing the fact that our so-called boring life is actually a beautiful one.
I started thinking about it as I enthusiastically devoured my $8.20 Chicken Curry Don from the foodcourt in David Jones this afternoon. It has been more than a year since I had one – I used to have it quite regularly with my old workmate Richard. We would walk from our old office in Hindmarsh Square and walked our way to Rundle Mall. However, after I moved all the way to Marden, I had stopped having Japanese curry. A bowlful of Japanese curry and a tin of cold Japanese tea represented my simple pleasures – they might not be much compared to a big juicy Wagyu steak – however, would you rather have a simple lunch with fully functioning tastebuds, mouth, or nose – or a lavish four-course dinner when you’re having a terrible headache and a blocked nose? One has to value the simple things in life to be able to appreciate the grand scheme of things.
Those people who suffered the damage of the earthquakes in China, or folks who endure years and years of instability and warfare in Afghanistan, probably wish they could return to their simple, boring life. If we can’t be grateful for our mundane life – wherever we are – we would never be content even if we lived in Berlin, London or Amsterdam. Allen Saunders once said, “Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans” – if I may reword it a bit, it will be “Life is what happens to us while we are wishing we were somewhere else”.
Stop moaning and be grateful – things can easily change in a blink of an eye. Just ask the bushfire survivors – how they would gladly forego millions of dollars if only they could get their loved ones back and their old, simple, boring, unexciting life.
Be thankful of your life – wherever you are.