When You Don’t Appreciate What You Have

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It’s Memorial Day, and there is a lot on my mind.  Part of me feels like I “should be” doing something way more substantial this weekend, as it is one of three big weekends that define summer here in the United States.  I can’t stop thinking about all of the sales and shopping going on this weekend.  And, then, of course, I end up thinking about the ACTUAL meaning of the holiday; remembering those who have died fighting for my country.  Many people in the military, or closely associated with someone in the military, lament what this holiday has become, all about grilling in the park, going to stores, partying, etc.

I “stayed home” this weekend, which for my standards (as an antsy person) means I stayed within the Denver-Boulder-Castle Rock area.  I needed to take it easy.  My next two months are packed with activities.  Also, most places I would go would have been particularly crowded this weekend.

Confluence Park is a mere three miles from my home, and right in the middle of Downtown Denver.  In fact, when I worked in Lower Downtown (LoDo), I was able to walk here from my office on lunch hours.  I ended up being here at a very unique time of year.  The river that runs through the center of town, the South Platte, has its origins in the higher terrain of the Central Rocky Mountains.  Above 10,000 feet, snow continues to fall, and temperatures remain chilly through much of Spring.  By this time of year, that snow is melting rapidly, swelling rivers like this one with rapidly moving, cold water.  It seems like the water levels reach their highest sometime around Memorial Day.

I sat in Confluence Park with my feet in the water for roughly half an hour.  I moved around from time to time, from rock to rock, feeling the sensation of the rapid stream flow in varying patterns, with different bumps, and eddies at different spots along the river.  I even stood on top of a mini-water fall for a bit.

I thought about all of the people, running around from store to store, looking for something new today.  I even thought of myself, and how I am always looking for new places to travel, new experiences, etc.

I even thought of the other activities I took part in this weekend.

Saturday’s brewery tour by bicycle.

Sunday’s hike up Green Mountain, to a place where one can see multiple 14,000 foot peaks in one direction and Denver’s skyline in the other.

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None of these activities required traveling a long distance, or buying any fancy equipment. A basic bike, a basic pair of sneakers will due.

Sometimes it seems like we spend way too much time looking for something new, and not enough time appreciating what we already have.  After all, whether it be a place to view the skyline from above (something I did not have when I lived in Chicago), or a year old pair of shoes, everything we have was once new, was once exciting, and was once a thing we were happy to obtain.  Are we still happy to have it?  Are we still enjoying it?

Some of us have more than others.  But, no matter how much or how little any one of us has, the one thing each and every one of us has is ourselves.  We have our bodies, and what we are capable of doing.  We have our minds, the things we think of, the way we reason, etc.  And, we have our spirits, our attitudes, what makes us excited for life, what makes us empathize with one another, and what makes us stand up for what we believe in when necessary.  This is definitely something we should all learn to appreciate.  If we all spent more time appreciating ourselves, maybe we would have a more positive outlook, and a more positive impact on the world around us.

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