I believe to truly appreciate life you must learn to appreciate the cliché of stopping to smell the roses, or noticing the perfume your grandmother always wears, and the ring that your cousin never takes off. Remembering the small stuff allows you to look back on events in your life and remember every detail. I can distinctly remember every Christmas since I was five years old. It’s always the same, the sounds of my grandpa’s favorite Frank Sinatra Christmas album playing behind what seems like hundreds of my relatives’ familiar voices, all laughing and shouting to one another. The deck of red cards , all of them sitting around my grandparents’ dining room table playing poker and telling stories. I see the tree in center of foyer with its gold and red ribbons glistening under dim lighting and its crystal star. Smells of fresh gingerbread cookies and homemade peppermint’s drift through the house, warming every room. Doors start to fling open and closed as everyone gathers their coats, gloves, hats, and scarves and rush out of the house to warming cars to go to church. This is time I cherish, the littlest things that mean nothing to most, mean everything to me. Whenever I encounter something that seems trivial I make note of it, I make an effort to remember. And when I am sad or bored or even blissfully happy I think back to these things for inspiration, I think back to them to draw on the emotion and memories about that specific event or time. When I look at a picture I love being able to remember who took it, what happened right before it was taken, and right after. In the grand scheme of things, it may seem as though these little things do not matter, but I take comfort in the fact that when I am thirty years old and I have my own life far away from my family and old friends, that I will be able to close my eyes and remember everything about the last time I saw them. The big stuff in life would not mean as much if everything in between was just a big blur. I believe in appreciating the little things in life.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.