It is so easy to get caught up in the to-do lists of everyday. We run through daily errands, household chores, work obligations, and so often we overlook what is right in front of us. We don’t enjoy the little things in life. So worried about making sure every part of the big picture is in place and taken care of, we often miss the small, beautiful things that, if we let them, have the power to transport us, at least momentarily, out of the rote and the regular.
Enjoy The Little Things In Life
There are the usual, beautiful things that move people – works of art, symphonies, classic books and movies, glorious sunsets (these are my go to’s; feel free to insert your own breathtaking experience here). These, however transporting they are, are not always daily events, but when we allow ourselves to step out of our routine, even for a moment, we can find that the simplest of things can be regarded as a marvel.
Enjoy The Little Things In Life: Remembering To Be Amazed
When I go for walks with my children, so often I am thinking about things besides walking with my children. I’m wondering how I can make a meal with what we have in the fridge, I’m thinking about assignments due, about the laundry piled up in the hamper. I’m urging my daughter to please hurry, we have to go home for dinner soon. I’m focusing on the larger, everything- in-its-place-today picture, and I am missing out completely on what we are actually doing. I forget to enjoy the little things in life.
There are no symphonies playing, no marble statue around the block to stop me in my tracks and make me pay attention. There might be a beautiful sunset, but we can usually only see a small portion of it before the sun sinks down behind the neighboring houses. When I actually make myself stop, snap my focus out of what I’ll do later and bring it back to right here, I start to observe my daughter.
At three and a half, she is not in a rush. She’s not worrying about what’s for dinner (of course not, that’s my job!). She’s marveling at the striped petunias spilling out of the window box on our town’s main street, she’s petting a dog and grinning at the way its silky curls feel through her fingers. She draws in a wondrous breath at the sight of a cicada, metallic body and lace-vein wings, perched on a rail.
I try, always, to pause and appreciate these things with her; I pride myself on stopping to smell the roses (and often do). But laundry has to be done and somebody has to make that dinner, and it’s easy to forget to be amazed by the small things, to forget the wonder we had when we saw through a child’s eyes.
Enjoy The Little Things In Life: The Simple Marvels
So I am working on seeing things from 3 ½ half feet off the ground, seeing more than just my floor and how it needs sweeping, again. I am squatting beside the mint patch to point out a buzzing bumblebee, its legs neon-bright with pollen. I am scooping a praying mantis off of my car’s window and holding it out for my children, watching their eyes widen as it lunges in slow motion across my hand.
I recently caught a grasshopper to show to my daughter and I actually felt amazed when its legs pushed off against my hand, pressing the full of its tiny weight against my palm in order to leap into the air. “It jumped!” I told my husband, giddy, “I felt it jump!”
It seems a silly thing, but it was wonderful to realize, the strength of this tiny life, something alive and outside of myself, my world, my day to day. My daughter asks questions, all sorts of questions – “Do horses sleep standing up?” “How do bugs crawl upside down?” “Do clams have eyes?” and while most of my responses begin with “Hmmm…”, I find myself really wanting to know. Wanting to discover the answers. Wanting to know more about the wonders of the world around me, and not just the obvious ones.
The bird’s nest in the bush by the back door, the stack of stones in the vacant lot that passerby just keep adding to, the glowing yellow moon in the autumn sky. Why shouldn’t these things be just as wonderful as the big, important things that stun us and take our breath away? For many, they are. For me, they are things I sometimes need to remind myself to appreciate, to marvel at, to wonder about.
What simple and wonderful things will you notice today?