I know I take things for granted. It seems like an inevitability of exposure: the more you experience a thing, the less you appreciate it. The trick seems to be identifying the point at which you begin to not appreciate a thing any more, and staying there. Past this point, it can be said something has a declining utility.
Finding that point has been a personal project of mine for the last few years. I do it with everything: food, drink, smoking, clothing, entertainment. With static things, it’s rather easy to control intake. But with dynamic things, like relationships with other human beings, it is much more difficult.
The goal is two-fold: 1) mindfulness of overall consumption, and 2) efficiency. The engineer in me loves this because essentially I am engineering my life for more efficiency. The eco-concious part of me loves it because I am reducing my waste, and overall footprint on society. It’s something I enjoy spending time thinking about.
However, like life itself, this is an exploratory process. Some things will make sense on paper, yet may not gel with the things you want from your life. I find it extremely important to not beat yourself up about things like this, and to take a soft-handed approach. Hard rules have a declining utility of their own.