Appreciate the Little Things

Brian - Gouverneur, New York
Entered on May 22, 2008
Age Group: 30 - 50


I believe the secret to happiness is to appreciate the little things. When I am the most content, when I am the closest to feeling true serenity, is when I take joy and pleasure in the small, everyday things most of us overlook in our busy lives. When I first wake up in the morning, I like to take a moment to appreciate the soft, warm feel of my bed, the comfort in knowing my wife and children are also waking up in warm, comfortable beds, with a solid roof over their heads. I look out the bedroom window and take in the view. I take in the ancient maple tree in full foliage, a picturesque stream flowing around the back yard. I look up at a clear blue sky. I might notice a blue bird or a robin singing. I take a nice hot shower to wash away a good night’s sleep. I try to remind myself that many have no bed, no shelter, no running water. Many are alone, with no one to love them. I remind myself of this not to wallow in guilt over something that will always be, but to appreciate what I have for today. On my way to work, I take a moment to pull the car over and smell the lilac blossoms before they wither away. I think they are just about the nicest smelling things God put on this earth. Only a newborn baby and maybe my Nona’s ravioli smell better. I go to my office and take a moment to be thankful I have a good job. When I start to let something get to me, I try to step back, take a deep breath and do the next right thing. I realize if I take the time I spend worrying about something that is probably never going to happen anyway, and do something positive and productive with it, my life will be infinitely better. I take pleasure in a job well done. When I get overwhelmed, I try to remind myself that I have never seen a gravestone engraved with, “If I had only spent more time at work”. When I get home I take pleasure in preparing a good meal. I listen to my oldest son playing the piano, I watch my daughter doing her homework and asking her mother questions. I watch my 5 year old son Jak play with whatever he’s taken an interest in today, his insatiable curiosity, his fascination with what I may consider the mundane, the honest sincerity with which he asks me questions, and I try to take a lesson from him. I keep in mind the words of the Indian poet Kalidasa, “Yesterday is but a dream and tomorrow is but a vision, but today, well lived, makes every yesterday and dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope.