I remember being assigned a short story to read in 9th grade that comes back to visit my brain every so often. I have no recollection of the title or the author, but I remember the premise.
We follow an individual through a day where they are feeling good and take pleasures in small things, like the feel of feet on the sidewalk on a sunny, pleasant day. They take advantage of various opportunities to do something nice for others. Of course, it was nice enough to read, but I was wondering what the point of it was until we arrive at this person's home and they compare notes with their partner.
The partner had taken the opposite approach, taking pleasure in the fact that they probably got someone fired (among other things). And, the story ends where they agree to switch tomorrow....
Let's just say I had some problems with that whole premise. But, I suspect that was the whole point.
Permission to Enjoy the Simple or Mundane
Aside from the shock value of two people deciding to take turns as to which gets to do nice or not so nice, I actually think more about the story before the 'big reveal.' The main character takes notice of and appreciates a series of things that may not seem like that much of a big deal - and it seems to improve their happiness.
How often do you (and I) tell ourselves that it is absurd to be pleased with something because it is too simple, too easy, or just not really all that important?
We probably do this at least as often as we let something small irritate us and make us unhappy.
I tell you what - I hereby grant myself AND you permission to truly enjoy the little things too so we can offset all of the molehills we turn into mountains when we're not happy with what is going on.
Some Little Things
I was tempted to title this section "stupid little things," but thought better of it. Why? Because, if I do that, I am still not giving myself permission to actually enjoy them without apology. There is no reason to apologize here! We can just let ourselves be happy with some little things.
Don't make it more complicated. Don't worry about what anyone else thinks.
I found a mechanical pencil that feels REALLY good when I write with it. The lead doesn't break and it feels sturdy enough that it will last for a long time (as long as I keep track of it). I like it. That makes me happy.
I walked out to the East fields the day before it started raining. I walked on an area where we planted some annual ryegrass as a cover crop last Fall/early Winter. The ground felt springy and wasn't muddy. It felt really nice to walk on and I could imagine the health of the soil beneath my feet. I liked it. It made me happy.
There are tiny little crocus flowers blooming amidst some grassy weeds by our front entrance to the house. The bright yellow color offset all of the browns (and the weeds that are turning green). They looked... happy. I liked them.
There's this piece of music that features piano and cello. The cello plays a beautiful turn in a musical phrase that makes me think about good things. I like it and it makes me happy.
I challenge you to make a list of three little things that have made you happy recently.
Have a great Friday!