the best things

Do you ever stop and think about all of the little things in life that you love? Many of us say “it’s the little that count,” but we really don’t ever fully stop and take an inventory. 

Over the weekend, I was in the ol’ minivan driving to Ace Hardware and I realized something: Bluetooth speakers in cars are one of the best things that have ever happened to me. I can talk to myself openly and loudly while driving around and no one knows that I’m bordering on insanity. Everyone around me just thinks I’m having a very animated conversation on the phone. What freedom.

As I drove along, I realized that this small thing (talking to myself in the car) created a lot of joy for me, so I started to talk to myself about all the other little things that make me happy. I sort of created a mental spreadsheet of them.

Here were a few, from memory, in no particular order: talking to myself in the car, or in the shower, planting, cutting and arranging flowers, finding and listening to a new album, writing of course, the feeling of a cool breeze on a walk, the view from the top of a mountain after a hike, the smell of the ocean when I first get out of the car for vacation, enjoying the smells of incense, taking a warm shower on a cold day, coffee or tea, poking at wood in a firepit, playing ball Townes, spending time with family, sitting on the screen porch with Coley, holding and squeezing the girls, playing with the girls, watching the girls do anything, watching a good movie, a nice, deep breath, or the taste of a good pizza.

These are just a few things - most of which I can do any time. There is simply no need to have a bad day when I can be so easy to find so much good. There’s so much good in this world that often goes unnoticed.  There’s so much peace we fail to pick up when we are pinned down by pessimism. I’m guilty of stepping over the small things - sometimes even stepping on them. I’m trying to change.

I’m trying to notice the very great, little things happening around me. Like when June looks at me and smiles. When she opens her mouth wide to mimic my excitement in seeing her. Like when she plays peek-a-boo with one hand or lays her face flat on the table when we say “night night.” Like when June chuckles or laughs or when she kicks her legs like a maniac as we chant “go June, go!” When she gives me a high five. Like when she puts her pointer finger in her mouth like she’s being inquisitive or claps her hands along with “when you’re happy and you know it.” When she lays her head down on my chest after I ask her to hug me or when she stares into my eyes. Like when she lifts her eyebrows just a bit to convey mischief or when she lifts up her tiny big toe. There are too many little things to count.

I’m trying not to miss the little things, like when Laurel reaches out to me and says “dada,” or runs across the room and jumps into my arms. Like when she asks to watch “babies” or “Moana,” or when she brings book after book for me to read. When Laurel reaches up and says “hold you,” or growls when I say “dinosaur.” Like when yells “Townes!” anytime she sees him, or when she screams at the end of “row, row, row your boat.” When she gives me a sass shoulder or a big smile. Like when she brings June a cup of milk or does sign language with her little hands. When she laughs, oh when she laughs, or when runs ahead on the trail. There are just so many new little things born every day.

All the little things make for big days - days I’ll never forget.