Chronicles of Turning 40: It’s The Little Things

Think about some of the little things you look the most forward to…for me, some of those things are a Starbucks coffee drink with time to savor it, alone time with a good book, good conversations with a glass of wine, a nice dinner out. If these are some of the things I enjoy the most, why do I rarely get to do them?

More than likely, it is because I am helping someone else out with what they enjoy. Life of a mom, always putting other people first. As much I would love to do my favorite things more often, I think it’s ok that they are not something I do all the time. Imagine if I was able to enjoy wine everyday along with a nice dinner out? I guess I could do that and go to my chef husband’s restaurant every day. But it would lose its luster (and I would likely be overweight with a drinking problem).

I would no longer have those little things to look forward to. I would likely not appreciate the fun of being able to truly enjoy them. And then, what kind of things would I look forward to?

Back to going out for nice dinners every night…if I did, there would be many other little things that I would miss out on. Those are some of the things that are often the hardest to appreciate. Such as spending time with the kids. Its a great little thing you get to do everyday. But because you get to do it everyday, it loses its luster from time to time (or alot of the time depending on the day).

Now you don’t want spending time with you kids to turn into one of those things you rarely do in order to better appreciate it. So what do you do to help keep the luster shiny? You’ve got to live in the moment. I’ve seen people write on the subject of mindfulness. Not sure where or when this topic originated, but basically, it describes being mindful of the moment you are in and appreciating the value of what it is.

That can be extraordinarily hard to do. It is very difficult to live in the moment. Even right now, for example, my kids are playing, wrestling and screaming. As much as I really don’t want to hear the noise, I need to be grateful that they are enjoying playing with each other. Or that my kids are healthy enough to wrestle on the floor. Or to just listen to their sweet laughter. Mindfulness, much easier said than done on the average day.

I’m not a mindfulness expert, but I think it’s a habit you have to develop. Much like any new routine, you have to regularly practice it in order for it to become a more common daily practice. It will not develop by itself. Don’t turn it into a chore though, you definitely won’t appreciate it then.

Relish in the small little parts of the little things that make up your day and it might very well help you get through the craziness. And help you get through the times when you are helping someone else with what they enjoy.

But when you finally do get to enjoy your most favorite moments..that leisurely Starbucks coffee or glass of wine, those moments are hopefully that much better. Maybe you will be less stressed, not as tired and can enjoy your favorite moment because, you were mindful of the wonderful small things in your day. I believe this is the same concept as stopping to smell the roses.

You stop to smell the roses and take in their beauty, their soft feel, their smell, their color. I discussed stopping to smell the roses in Part 1, The Transformation. I joked that no one has time to grow the roses, much less stopping to smell them. Maybe you don’t really have to grow the roses. Maybe, just maybe, the roses are already planted around you. You just need to notice them, or do a little weeding so you can see them more clearly. Do not feel guilty though for going to another rose garden for your happiness - get that cup of coffee and have that glass of wine when you can…and most of all enjoy it!

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