Notables such as Gretchen Rubin (The Happiness Project), Tal Ben Shahar ( Happier), Martin Seligman (Flourish), Marcy Shimoff (Happy For No Reason), et al have all indicated in their studies on happiness that it is the little things that lead to more lasting happiness than the big things. While that truth applies to any societal condition, it may be even more meaningful during this current difficult and stressful time. I believe we are all looking for some little joys to lift our spirits. Below is a sampling of my simple pleasures. Perhaps they will give you some ideas for yourself.
Lying on our backs on a summer day looking up at the drifting clouds
Playing in the undeveloped fields behind our houses. We’d always see if we could cross a brook without getting our shoes wet or falling in. The slippery rocks were our stepping stones.
Drinking water from the garden hose on hot days.
Building snow forts in winter.
Lying on my back in the snow at night, looking up at the stars trying to identify constellations.
The Halloween parade through the main street of town sporting our most original costumes.
Peonies, Lilies of the Valley, Buttercups, Indian Paint Brushes, Bluebells, Daisies seem to be connected to happy, carefree childhood days. Whenever they come to mind, I smile and feel joy.
Sitting on a screened porch on a rainy summer day.
Smelling the scent of the first bloom of lilacs.
Eating pancakes with the year’s new offering of maple syrup
Reading the entire set of Narnia books with my daughter.
Hopping on the subway and exploring places I hadn’t been to.
Baking bread from scratch. No bread makers ever.
Day trips which often included going to a musical theatre performance.
Giving a workshop on happiness to the grade 6 classes in a private school.
Being at a Blue Jays game with my granddaughter as she collected “ball park air” in an empty bag to bring home to her brother. Makes me chuckle every time I think of it.
Telling stories to my grandson over the phone while he ate lunch during his toddler years.
The aroma of chocolate chip cookies baking. Then eating one as they came out of the oven.
My teaching assistant unexpectedly bringing me champagne truffles. Soooo good.
Getting to sit in the broadcast booth during a Blue Jays game. This has a long wonderful story to go with it.
Spending time with my daughter’s dog. I’ve anointed him as my therapy dog. Very affectionate with a touch of scampiness.
Meeting a friend for coffee and doing crossword puzzles together.
These are just a smattering of my little joys. What are yours? What simple pleasures in your life you can recall and savor that will bring a few moments, or longer, of happiness? These simple pleasures can have some antidotal effects during difficult times.
Comments are welcome.