Thursday, March 08, 2012

The little things in life.

Lately, I have been talking to my students about how I stay happy and positive. It is, after all, easy to get ones self down with situations around us. Whether it is wars, famine, poverty or even simple things like weather, commuting time or purely how we see our life and lifestyle. There are many things to keep you happy and positive and probably more than you expect, life is not about just the big positives. It isn't that new car, or the house you want to buy. Nor is it that next big holiday or the new season's fashions. As, to me, all these things are big and hefty and the love of them fade quite quickly and in the instance of something large like a car or house, it means that we worry about the finance of it or potential damage to it forever. No, to me it is the little things that can and do make me happiest. Some of them are purely for me while others are possibly applicable to others. I have no idea who or how many would like any of the things that I have on my list, but here it is:
  • Walking on grass with bare feet
  • The thrill from surviving static electricity
  • The crack and pop of logs on a fire in the dark of night
  • Being able to give accurate directions in a foreign city
  • The sound of opening a gassed drink on a hot day
  • The cracking sound when opening a new book
  • Nibbling on dried bread dough on my finger nails
  • Getting a smile from a nameless yet familiar face
  • Freshly roasted coffee, in fact, anything roasting in the oven
  • Putting your hand into a bag of seeds, pulses or legumes
  • The eyes of someone who is talking about their passion
  • Real genuine leather
  • The thwack of the ball hitting the middle
  • The feeling of a happy dog's tail as it wags and hits your leg
  • Laying on crisp clean white cotton sheets in summer
  • A hand written letter that you didn't expect
Autumn veg

  • The crisp crunch and snap of fresh vegetables
  • The way flour falls onto surfaces and appears like little explosions
  • A hint of freshly washed hair in an empty elevator
  • The sound of a parrot walking on a hard surface
  • Sitting in a sun warmed seat on a cool day
  • Soft afternoon light on simple things like read bricks and terracotta roofs

  • Long shadows
  • The smell of unsmoked cigars
  • The squeak of fresh dry snow under your shoes
These were some that came to me some time ago when I was talking about it with Marty, so we both made a list at the time. Things have been added to this list since then but these are all still there.

Here are some from my students:

"Frosty grass and trees on a sunny winter morning" Jola
"Hot sun waking me through my window" Ola
"In the summer in late evenings listening to the sound of crickets" Marek
"Smelling something that reminds me of my childhood" Diana
"Waking up late on Saturdays" Kasia
"To sleep with my cats on my legs" Jolita
"Eating chocolate" Justyna
"Returning home from work on Friday evenings" Artur
"The sound of a V8 engine" Grzegorz
"The very first drop of massage oil on my skin" Ania

What are yours?


Andrew said...

Thanks for sharing this G! It's a great reminder to all of us to appreciate the good things in life, especially when things seem turbulent and busy. Your post also reminded me of the film "Amelie" - there is beauty and simplicity in the act of appreciating the small pleasures of life. For me those things would be... walking through a park, listening and singing along to music in the car, enjoying the smell and taste of a freshly brewed coffee, and running my fingers through leaves on a tree. Once again thanks for this great post :)

Gee Em said...

Thanks AT, I just think that the big things in life are great, but the little things are more in our grasp and applicable on a regular basis. thanks so much for your suggestions, I am totally with you on that coffee thing! One of the greatest things about NZ.

Ysabella said...

for me is the thought that I am about to start reading the book I enjoy.

Gee Em said...

oh yeah Ysabella, that is a good one too.

Darren said...

The coming to life of plants in Spring....which never meant that much in Australia, but does in Northern Europe

A hot meat pie in the cold at the footy

The smell of rain on hot pavement in summer

Sunset over Seacliff/Brighton Beach

A piece of my mum's pavlova - unless done by GM ;-)

JoWinddancer said...

- the smell of nettles after a summer storm!

- a cup of quality loose leaf tea, hot, when sitting outside and spitting the tea leaves out onto the ground (preferably with my dad sitting right next to me)

- a hot mug of tea warmimg my hands on a chilly evening out of doors

- a bird song waking me up

- sunlight in a forest

- a kid peeking out from behind a parent's leg to look at me, curious

These are the things that pop into my mind just now. :)

Una Kaempt said...

The anticipation when sitting down to read a good blog post... actually reading a good blog post... posting to my own blog... anticipating reading intelligent comments on my blog post... actually reading intelligent comments on my blog... thinking of an awesomely witty comment to make myself... ; )

Definitely some of the things others have mentioned including the start of rainfall on hot urban road surfacings... the gurgles and snorts of my German coffeemaker... hot green tea (even on a hot day)... magpies singing... grass under my bare feet... log fires... cold beer after a decent spot of garden work... the amazing streaky sunsets right here in my part of the world... random positive interactions with strangers on the street or in a shop... fresh, sunkissed sheets on the bed...

Many, many things, when I stop to think about it. So thanks for the reminder. The little things are definitely the most accessible and constant, so to my mind the most important*. I might post some more as they come to mind! : )

(* unfortunately some of the 'flipsides' of these 'little things' can make me a little sad, when I think about them: weeding out a volunteer tomato seedling in the wrong place... finishing a good book... the ridiculousness of maintaining green lawns in such a dry country... the trees that were chopped down and little creatures displaced to feed my log fire...)

Gee Em said...

Thanks Darren, Jo and Una. They are all fabulous things. Yes, I know Darren, I think I will avoid pavs for a little while. Jo the wet nettles are lovely, have you tried nettle tea? And Una I LOVE the sound of magpies singing!! Lets just hope those logs on the fire are from storm damaged trees..... But thanks for the lists everyone! I loved reading them!

JoWinddancer said...

not sure... I have had cottage cheese with nettles though and it was heavenly. :)

who's a "youthist"? That's my captcha... :D

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