Well, maybe the title is overstating just a little, but not by much. It's generally the little things in life that bring us so much happiness. Sure, sure we love it when big things happen to us but big things don't happen every day. Maybe for some and I guess it would depend on what you consider to be "big things." But mostly we live our lives going about our days with set routines without much consideration, reflection or frankly gratitude. We take for granted so many of the smallest things we get to do every day we just assume we have a right to those things. We go about our routines with very little understanding of how lucky we are and appreciating the freedom we experience on a daily basis.
Every morning people get up, they get dressed and they head out. Some have a routine of making their coffee and toast and having it at home while they prepare for the day. Others routine consist of stopping by the local barista and having their coffee prepared and grabbing a muffin or croissant to munch on along their way. I do a little of both. Some days I want to have coffee at home and some days I like to have my coffee prepared for me in a way I never make at home. Some days I will even head out of my house, where there are plenty of eggs and bread, to have someone else prepare for me eggs and bread. I find even though I like cooking I've never bothered to learn to poach an egg because frankly, I like it when someone else poaches it for me. But recently I learned maybe I need to learn how to poach my own egg. Because having someone else do it is a luxury and privilege that one day may not be afforded to me. Lockdowns have a funny way of making you look at life a little better.
As you know, or maybe not, the month of September I had to do a 14-day quarantine after traveling from the US back into the UK. Once you enter the UK you are directed to utilize any mode of transportation to the address you indicated on the registration. But you cannot make any stops along the way to that address. Since I was aware of the guidelines before traveling I made a list of items I would need for the first week and did an online shop before entering London to be delivered the next day. I mentally prepared myself for the next 14 days. I planned on ordering online two grocery deliveries. One for the first week and another for the second week. I knew here and there I may want impromptu items that I would simply order from one of the restaurant delivery online services. I knew I had enough work and online things to do to keep me busy for the 14 days that laid before me. But with every plan eventually unplanned, unexpected revelations come into the forefront. My unplanned revelation?? Poached Eggs and a Turmeric latte.
Little did I know Day 9 would be the day I learned how important a turmeric latte and a poached egg are to me. Little did I know day 9 would be the day I realized how much of a luxury it is to be able to simply walk out of the house, down the block and head to my local coffee shop for a turmeric latte and order of poached eggs. Sometimes I order them with field mushrooms and smoked back bacon or a la benedict. Or I may order the poached eggs with Cumberland sausages and avocado. There may be the odd occasion when I won't order them poached at all and try a scramble but end up wishing I had stuck with the poached version of eggs. Little did I know day 9 would be the day where I actually began to feel the pain of my quarantine. Because not being able to get my poached eggs from the corner I could see from my bedroom window was absolute misery.
Now, do not think for one second it escapes me there are bigger problems in life people suffer on a daily basis. I am well aware. But that is exactly my point. Sans the 14-day quarantine, normally whenever I fancied a poached egg I would wander down to the local shop, order my latte and poached egg and sit and read or just enjoy watching people. Many of us do this daily without much thought. We take for granted our ability to do so. We take for granted our ability to afford ourselves such luxuries. It may not seem like a luxury but the very fact it doesn't seem like a luxury is an indication of how much privilege we have and take for granted.
I know I sound a bit overly dramatic about a 14-day house quarantine and the revelation I could not indulge my fancy for a poached. But I'm asking you to go outside of that 14 days. Eventually, there's an end to 14 days and at the end of those 14 days lies the freedom to "do what I want any old time." At the end of those 14 days, there are lessons learned and revelations that many of the things we take for granted are not owed to us but privileges. Many people have no idea what it feels like to simply wake up and decide to go have someone prepare a coffee and/or egg for them even though they have these ingredients in the cupboard. Many people do not even have these items in their cupboards to prepare. Many people do not even have a cupboard.
I've always considered myself to be a person that is well aware of how lucky I am in life. Self-aware my circumstances are that of fortune even during the worst of times. But even though self-aware I have those moments, as many of us do, where I begin to feel sorry for myself and want to moan about what I can't do or don't have. Those moments when I want to indulge my every whim and fancy. Those moments when I can't fulfill those whims and fancies and I push my lip out and stomp like a child. But you know what, there's nothing wrong with those moments because it's what we know. But we have to also realize within those moments, or after, the revelation of our fortunes. That is the moment when we have to get over ourselves and just say thank you. So the next time I'm pouting over not being able to gain access to a poached egg and latte prepared and served by someone else I will say "Girl, get over yourself and learn to poach your own egg." Because at the end of the day, the fact I have eggs and a cupboard to place them in is a fortune of its own. The fact I know what brunch is and can plan on any day of the week is a privilege I will no longer take for granted.