Happiness is Found in Details and Assumed Insignificance

Erica - Waynesboro, Virginia
Entered on April 22, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

In a world so focused on the grand gesture, we fail to notice the intricacies with which all things were created. With the monotony of daily lives, we are programmed to seek satisfaction in a great adventure or an out of the ordinary experience. So I ask you, what has happened to the simple childhood pleasures that brought countless hours of bliss and sheer joy? Is it that we outgrew them as we aged, or is it that with the busyness of life we fail to take notice? I feel as though there is a direct correlation between discontent and one’s lack of detail recognition. Much like a slide being observed under a microscope, at first glance the viewer quickly loses interest in what appears to be a large mass. But as the power of magnification strengthens, the image begins to increase in detail and phenomena demanding the viewer’s attention. It is not the grand gesture, but rather the minute details in life that bring excitement.

I can remember growing up and having one of my greatest joys being the times it rained. Excitement would abound when the neighborhood kids gathered along the road in our front yard. For at 613 Missimer Lane, rainfall meant boat races. Each “contestant” would search high and low for materials to assemble the quickest, sleekest, and most agile watercraft. Of course, our boats were never anything more than a twig jetting through a leaf or blades of grass suspended across a piece of bark. However, the thrill that would arise each time our ships began their voyage atop the rushing waters down the street toward the drain would keep us in elation for hours. Something as simple as grass that gets trampled daily or leaves that get brushed from the sidewalk possess majestic qualities in the eyes of children.

One of the most basic life lessons I have learned not in my maturity, but in my youth. Happiness is found in details and assumed insignificance. I have grown to realize that my greatest moments of pleasure are not found in large gifts, a dozen roses or extravagant jewelry. I am most content when on an evening walk recognizing the meticulous nature with which each star has been placed or hours spent laughing in a driveway over the littlest actions. I thrive on the sound of snow falling, wind blowing, or the scent of clean laundry. More than anything I love taking a break from a stressful situation to bask in these experiences. In the long run, the hour of work you have lost does not compare to the spiritual gain you have received.

When I begin to feel weighed down and lose myself in a cyclic lifestyle, the answer is not in what outrageous act can provide a superficial high, but rather what aspect of life I can pause to reconsider. Inevitably allowing me to focus not on the obtrusive negative events, but to recognize and seek joy in the smallest everyday occurrences.