When I was a kid, my parents took me on a killer cross country vacation, and it was one humungous major-league adventure. From Yellowstone to the Grand Canyon, the whole month was packed to the roof of Mom and Dad’s minivan with big days in even bigger places.
I was about thinking about that trip yesterday because yesterday was quite possibly the most boring day in the entire history of the human race. Nothing happening was happening in my world, and everything I was doing had already been done to death. I wanted to be doing something huge—climbing a mountain, trekking a rainforest, having tea with the Dalai Lama, anything but what I was doing which was nothing much of anything except the usual, and I was totally sick of that.
But life isn’t like that, is it? It’s not an endless parade of huge, amazing events we don’t even have time to catch our breath between. My average day isn’t a Hollywood movie filled with roller-coaster thrills. It’s a series of moments so small I have to remind myself to notice them or I won’t notice them at all.
Ask me the secret to life, and that’s what I’d say. It’s about finding happiness in the little things and knowing what they add up to is worth more than all the excitement in the world. A smile from a stranger. A favor from a friend. A perfect cup of unexpected coffee. Finding a flower in the sidewalk. Meeting a puppy at the park. Discovering fresh market blackberries on winter’s coldest day.
Whenever I’m seeing and appreciating little things like these, my day is richer and I’m happier. I can look outside myself and see that no day is ever truly ordinary because each one is filled with gifts to be grateful for. Reminding myself to look for them means my days automatically fill with good things that make them worth living. Better yet, when I remember the power of small moments, I can make some for the people around me, too. And that makes small the biggest thing of all.