19 December 2012

so many little things to enjoy

"Learn to enjoy the little things—there are so many of them."

My Kids Thot-a-Day calendar told me this yesterday, and it's been sitting with me, as the simplest things often do.

I don't think, if I may be so self-congratulatory, that I need to learn this lesson. Little things and the enjoyment of them are a specialty of mine, but sometimes I forget that, as I often do with the simplest things.

You know how it is: a work project, say, doesn't go quite right, and you can feel frustration, annoyance, and tiredness rising up in you. What had been a small, peaceful stream, a babbling brook, is suddenly under a flash flood warning because somewhere far away from you, it rained.

This flood is out of your control, and you can start to feel out of control yourself {because, well, you are—not in control, that is}.

All that rises, a rushing river of Big Things, and your quiet glade of Little Pleasures is destroyed.

Like a character from Little House on the Prairie or from Little Women or from some other diminutive book, you had plans of simply reading by the stream all day. You were going to bring a picnic, but now—now, argh and grrr and other guttural utterances of frustration and disappointment.

Then, hiding in the trees, perhaps, in the glade—high up out of reach of the flood—is a bird with this reminder: Learn to enjoy the little things—there are so many of them.

A flood will dissipate. A frustration will become less acute. A tiredness will be sated.

And then, I'm sorry to say, they will come again. But in the midst of flood, frustration, and tiredness, there are always so many little things to enjoy.

Such as {my own little list for the moment}:
  • how my Little Pug curls up in front of the space heater whenever I turn it on. She sits so close I do worry that she'll burn up her fur, but she seems content and cozy for the moment.
  • Christmas lights
  • walks in the strangely balmy December weather
  • stovetop popcorn with melted butter
  • really, anything with butter
  • reading in bed
  • giving a friend a homemade present and having her squeal in delight

So many little things to enjoy.

It sounds trite, I know—like something more fitting come out of Marmee March's mouth than my own. But right now, on this almost-the-longest-day-of-the-year early morning, it sounds right coming out of my pen.

And now I have to ask: what are the little things you enjoy?

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