Yes, countless people have stated the obviously cliche, “It’s the little things in life.” But when is the last time that you actually stopped to notice? When is the last time that you looked up from your iPhone, iPad, Kindle, or whatever else is in your hands and just took a second to think… “This is awesome”…?
I read a book recently called The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin (about which a post is still forthcoming). I have also been writing in a journal daily for a little under a year now. Since reading the book, I have made a point to try and make note of the specific things that made me happy throughout the day. And in so doing, I have found myself taking notice in real time as the day is unravelling.
And here are a few of my favorites from this past weekend:
- The noise my younger dog makes when I scratch behind both of his ears. It sounds like something between a pig snort and a man snore. Just quieter.
- The bullseye my Dad hit to beat me in Cricket at the Nantahala Brewing Company. It was truly friendly competition, and it almost made me happier to see my Dad win. We were both laughing and enjoying a fresh, locally brewed beer. It doesn’t get any better than that.
- The way my girlfriend opens up to people with whom she is comfortable and how much I can learn from her when I just listen.
- How great it was not to have looked at my phone for two days straight.
- What it feels like to have slept for more than eight hours and wake up without a worry in the world.
- Seeing my older dog get hyper after she was just laying in her cage of her own accord and having trouble breathing.
- How enjoyable a simple game of Scrabble between me and my mother can be.
- Receiving a text from my brother that, in its entirety, read: “Love you bud.” That was all I needed to know he was home safe from his recent cruise on the USCGC Resolute and thinking about me.
And this was all in one weekend. If you ever come upon a time when you think there isn’t much to be happy about… It may just be a matter of noticing the little things (and sometimes maybe not, but it’s worth a shot). And even when you know how much you have to be happy about, it is still worth making a conscious effort to pick up on all that the world is presenting to you.
The little things are what make our lives into a living history of happiness. The little things add up to big things – they turn small gestures into long-term impact. They turn a bad mood into a reason to be thankful. And they certainly help us to build memories of so many fleeting moments that, in the end, define what it is to be alive.
What are some of your favorite little things that you have noticed recently? Do you have any great stories about how something so little turned into a memory so big?