The little things.

October 3, 2015 § 7 Comments

Once in a blue moon, cha-ching,  you win the lottery, fall in love, visit Paris! Think back, when was your last breathless-with-amazement day?

That long ago, huh?

Ordinary days are the substance of our lives. Those of us with a glass-half-full temperament find a wealth of little things that make us happy.

While the big-ticket sources of human joy are easy to list, I bet the small sources of happiness are far more idiosyncratic,  like:


Almost anything I need will fit in one. When I’m unsure, pockets provide a place to hide my hands. Although modest, pockets provide warmth, utility, and comfort.

Calligraphic AThe alphabet.

Apart from sound or meaning, each letter has an attitude, a shape, and each is reinterpreted every time someone picks up a writing implement.

Just 26 letters, but the forms are endless.

logo-generico-coca-cola-231x180How about these letters? I don’t even drink Coke, but the bravado of the logo’s curves and swishes always makes me feel good.


Walking backwards looking up.

I end every morning walk striding backwards. The sky receding, it seems more likely that I will fall up than down.

Naming things.

I like knowing the names of plants, birds, insects, that I pass as I walk. Naming helps me see each more clearly, the spiderwort, railroad vine, lantana. The names mean nothing to those being named but the act of naming connects me to them.


I harmonize with anything from my singing partner, Craig, to the Muzak in the grocery store, to the hum of an air conditioner. A river of music flows through everything and by harmonizing I ride it.

img_5828-020_edited-11Watching you.

There isn’t just one real world. Each of us creates the real world we live in.

Most of the time I can watch you unobserved. You are too busy holding down the center of your own real world to notice me.

Watching you provides a welcome vacation from carrying my own real world around, and, when things are particularly bleak, seeing that you are totally unaffected by my ongoing disaster gives me hope.

The wakeful patch in the middle of the night.

At first it worried me, this failure to stay asleep, but I soon recognized it as a gift. With no daytime demands, it became a time to lie still and think. Many of my best ideas visit when the lights are out and Ray is asleep.

wheat sheaf pennyFinding a penny.

We all have jars of them and they are so devalued they aren’t worth the copper it takes to make one.

But finding a penny—especially tails-up—is like a wink, luck’s way of saying, don’t worry, I’m on the job.


Each Monday morning a whole new week lies ahead, comfortable and loose. No need to rush, it’s only Monday.

Strangers saying, “Have a nice day.”

It is banal, yes, but to me it is one human being telling another, “Hey, we are all in this together, so let me hold my umbrella over you for just a second before you go on your way.”

Those are ten of the little things that make me happy, and there are so many others: spiders, neighborhood kids, a line-dried shirt, ice water on a hot day, and I bet you have a similar list.

My guess is you won’t fall in love today, lose forty pounds, get offered a great job or win the lottery. If you are happy it will be because of the little things. Tell me about them.

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