Life sucks. It’s nothing like what Hollywood concocted in the movies. To me life is something to get by with each day. However, no matter how much life sucks, I do believe that it’s the little things in life that get me through the day. I believe they are what matters in living. Like that cup of hot chocolate-y goodness on a cold afternoon or getting the parking spot closest to the school entrance. Or last week when I froze nearly to death waiting for my bus to arrive, and it started snowing! It wasn’t enough joy for me to jump around screaming hallelujah, but a part of me did a little dance inside.
I admit I sometimes forget to appreciate the little things around me. I failed to notice Mother Nature using her paint to change the colors of the leaves. It wasn’t until the barren winter crept up behind autumn that I now miss the vibrant leaves which once towered over me. I also used to overlook my mom’s daily handwritten notes saying how proud she thinks of me when I get home, until one day she didn’t have time to write one. I now save these loved treasures.
It’s the little things in life that bring a smile to my face. Sometimes it seems superficial, like when I snagged the last pair of super cute size seven shoes from the sales rack. Sometimes it’s the satisfaction of being right. Ultimately though, I think the most precious little things in life occur when I receive acts of kindness. I take notice when friends smile at me in hallway or when strangers hold the door for me. I admire a friend of mine who goes even beyond that common courtesy. At first we started off as mutual friends, until he started sending me “Hi. I think you’re cool and I want to be better friends with you, but we hang out with different people in real life so I decided to write to you instead” letters. His method of getting to know me was backed up by who doesn’t enjoy getting letters? He’s right. I’m sure it beats getting bills everyday. I take that gesture of kindness with me. Every time I get a letter in the mail I can’t help but grin from ear to ear.
Receiving is only half the fun of giving. Like mother like daughter I possess the quirk of writing random notes. I write in my calculus book hopeful comments for the next person who uses it. Because I know that it would make my day to receive encouraging notes, as I attempt to conquer this foreign language called calc. Just today, I was humming the song “Lean on Me” in biology, my friend Dannell joined in singing, and Eric started singing and dancing. It was a chain reaction that excited laughter. I believe these are the little things that make life’s pleasures.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.