If you’ve been hanging around this space for any length of time, you probably know how much I love the little things. I take stock of the big and little things I’m thankful for each week, because this practice helps me cultivate a positive perspective and a grateful heart.
Like most people, I totally love the finer, grander things in life: luxurious vacations, attending weddings and dinner parties, exploring new places. But the majority of my life isn’t made up of grand moments; it’s made up of sweet, little details that will flash past me if I don’t notice them.
I’ve also come to find that enjoying the little things isn’t just about noticing them but about creating opportunities to enjoy them. I can choose to add a little extra flavor to my daily life by treating myself to some of my favorite simple pleasures. Many of these things are easy, cheap, or free, and take little to no effort. They just take a little extra thought.
I don’t want to hustle my way through life, always looking forward to the next big event, not taking the time to savor the richness that’s all around me. I want to look around instead of looking straight ahead; I want to soak up the beauty of each little moment and let it settle into my veins; I want to be able to recall just how that moment smelled, tasted, and rattled my thoughts.
These are my favorite simple pleasures, the things that cause me to stop during my normal hustle and exhale and say “Ahhh.”
- Freshly washed sheets and a made-up bed.
- Summer night ice cream runs to Oberweiss, filling my belly with impossibly creamy vanilla soft serve whipped with Oreos.
- Snuggling with my dog.
- The crackling of a fire on a cold day, and the way it makes my home smell like earth.
- Dining al fresco on a warm, sunny day.
- Sipping my coffee outside on my patio on a Saturday morning.
- Picking up a surprise for Dan (usually a donut).
- Sunday afternoon naps on the couch, when I don’t even notice I’m falling asleep.
- Fresh flowers in a mason jar on my coffee table.
- Sending and receiving hand-written mail.
- Sleeping with my windows open on a cool fall night.
- Feeling exhausted and accomplished and strong after a hard workout.
- A crisp fall breeze, the sound of rustling leaves, and the taste of an apple cider donut.
- The smell of a baby’s cheeks.
- Eating Funfetti cake straight from the pan.
- Getting lost in a fascinating book.
- Wearing my favorite cozy hoodie on a fall day.
- Holding hands with Dan.
- The first sip of a glass of really rich, deep red wine.
- Listening to a thunderstorm while I’m curled up in bed.
- Licking the spoon when I’m baking brownies.
- Hilarious photos on my Timehop.
- Perfectly creamy foam on top of a fresh cappuccino.
- The smell of saltwater and the sound of crashing waves.
- Watching my stomach move and ripple as baby girl kicks against it.
Not all of these are things I can choose every day, but anytime I get to soak up one of these little moments, I feel like the richest woman in the world.