Sometimes, I think, we need to step back — to take stock of how far we’ve come, and to widen our eyes a bit to every little piece of happiness that is otherwise so easy to ignore.
I try and build a list a few times each month. It keeps me going, in a sense, when I have my gloom and doom face on, when the stress of too much work and too little play really starts beating down my door. A list like follows might not solve the problem, but I think it helps balance it.
And maybe, instead of clamoring about for some magical solution, that’s just what we need: perspective. We need an understanding that life can dump the good and the bad on us at a moment’s notice, and we need an understanding that the good — even when the bad is all we can think about — never fades away.
If anything, it outlasts everything else.
Here’s my list for today:
1. Unfurling a bag of fresh-ground coffee and taking a big, long breath of its scent: earthy and warm.
2. A rare morning chill for sunny Texas. I can feel the cold in my lungs and on my fingers, and it’s every bit as bracing as my big mug of caffeine.
3. My favorite pair of nice pants. I’ve gone through at least three stages with these: a little tight when I first bought them many years ago, very tight when I tried to wear them back in college, and now — remarkably — a little loose as I wear them today. It’s hard not to smile when I put them on.
4. A conversation with my brother. We talked travel plans for two straight hours the other night, and I’m still riding the ambition — the excitement — today.
5. A new haircut. After years upon years of stepping out of the barbershop and resembling a shaved chicken, I’ve finally found a place that does good work. The cuts, now, make me feel happy and handsome, which is about all I could ever ask for.
6. All of you. The realization, this morning, that I have slightly more than a few dozen people who seem to enjoy what I say. I can only try (and probably fail) to express how grateful I am for your attention, and I can only hope my ramblings provide some value to your life.
7. The realization that tomorrow is Friday. Yes.
8. The wide, tall windows in the office I’m borrowing. The view might not impress, but the early sunlight always brightens my morning.
9. Another achingly blue Texas sky. It’s strange, in a sense, that it took me twenty-three years to realize how open — how incredible — it can be.
10. The fact that it took me 30 minutes just to come up with 10 things to put on this list. That might seem a little sad, but I call it a place to improve — a part of my personality that I know I can work on and really try to hone my sense of gratitude for everything in my life. I’m not quite where I want to be, but I’m happy to be walking in that direction.
What’s on yours?
If you enjoyed this post, please share it with family and friends. These simple pleasures, I think, are worth sharing with the world over.