Life Appreciation Day

I’ve been like a kid in a sweetshop since I’ve got back to Manchester (Cities! Yay!) and I’ve realised how easy it is taking things for granted.

Throughout my life it has been a case of not realising until it was gone.

I used to play sport, I loved Sport, especially Trampolining, it was the only thing I did religiously, twice a week, team training.

But that wasn’t all I could turn my hand to. I’d play a bit of Badminton, a touch of Tennis and a hint of Hockey. I had the option of playing sport whenever I could be bothered to lift myself off the sofa.

I’ll play Tennis at the weekend, I used to say to myself. If not this weekend, I’d do it next weekend.

It wasn’t going anywhere, the Tennis courts will be there next weekend.

And, to be fair, they are still there, and actually look a lot better now. Salford City Council have outdone themselves, I think, every time I limp past the courts

…that I can no longer use.

You see, I am no longer able to make use of the courts, since an accident left me unable to play Tennis, Badminton or Hockey and there’s definitely not a chance in hell of me doing any Trampolining.

In fact, the last time I touched a trampoline, my friends had a meltdown
2016-02-25 (1).png
Because it was Trampolining that killed me

Literally.
…but only for a few minutes

However, the effect is permanent.

No more Sport.

Sure I can still hit a ball/shuttlecock, but there’s no way I’m running around afterwards. Sport is now lost to me and I miss it.
And there’s no getting it back – ever!

So having spent four and a bit years in the middle of nowhere, having nothing of consequence to do, no place of consequence to go – and no, a fancy restaurant just didn’t cut it, sorry Fylde Coast people – and ridiculously high taxi fares – seriously Fylde people, the cost of your taxis is just plain crazy! I realised that I missed living in a city.

I had taken Manchester for granted and I had lost it, but unlike Sport, it wasn’t gone forever.

Upon my return to civilisation Manchester, I was a little bit punch drunk. I really felt like I’d been released from Prison and the world was in front of me again!

There’s just so much to do!

I found a website, called Meetup, were I found so many different groups of people to join, Socialising, Knitting, Singing, basically anything you fancy doing, there’s a group that are planning on doing it, somewhere, sometime. If not, you can start your own.

Plus, I discovered Uber, yes, yes, I know, I am well behind the curve on this, but bear with me.

Uber is a revelation. My favourite bit is watching that little car approach and then seeing the taxi arrive. I have had some lovely chats with different drivers, who all seem so lovely (I don’t think it’s all to do with the fact that they know I’ll be reviewing them) and it’s great, at the end of the night out, not having to worry about having money for the return trip, because it’s all done on Paypal.

(If you’ve never tried Uber and want to try it, use this code  amandam13108ue and you’ll get a free ride worth £10)

Yes, I feel a bit sorry for taxi firms, but it’s their own fault, Salford taxis were rubbish, they were always ‘five minutes away’, even though that’s what they said half an hour ago and you’re still waiting. And frankly some of the dispatchers were not just rude, they were so far past it, that it was just a shimmer in the distance.

So, I now appreciate this city, this dirty, busy city, that receives more than its fair share of rain and grey skies. I appreciate it far more that I would have had I simply stayed here.

Is it my imagination or has the weather been great this past week, too?

I remember when I first arrived in China, I used to wake up every morning and think,

Bloody Hell, I’m in China!

After a few months, I realised that I’d lost the excitement and so I was determined to make it a ritual, I woke up every morning, made my one cup of coffee for the day (real coffee, not instant – it was so expensive and hard to get hold of) sat out on my balcony watching people pass by thinking, bloody hell, I’m in China!

I appreciated every single thing that happened, even the rubbish/nasty/horrid things, because I knew that I’d be going back to the UK and I’d never have that experience again.

So what am I saying?

It’s simple. I have learned to appreciate things.

I don’t mean things like fancy cars, restaurants and all that other nonsense.
I’m not in China anymore, but I wake up (most days) thinking,

Bloody hell, I’m alive!

I take an inordinate amount of joy in the little things, a blue sky, Missy having a stretch and a yawn when I roll out of bed and she realises it’s time to get up, baking a cake. I revel in the minutiae of life because… well, why not?

Try it with me.

Tomorrow, have a Life Appreciation Day.

Take the time to appreciate the little things you usually take for granted. Things like:

Having a roof over your head.
Having food and drink
Being able to walk.
Being able to smile
Having someone to smile at
Breathing fresh air
BEING ALIVE!

It’s really easy to get sucked into the day to day, but try to resist. Remember no matter how bad things are, there’s always a silver lining –

you’re still alive and breathing, that’s not nothing!

Trust me, you’ll have a great day.

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