We define our lives by the core-shaking events. Weddings. Funerals. The birth of babies. Moving house. Divorce. Graduations. Job promotions. But these are rare events, and that’s what makes them noteworthy. Most of our lives are made up of little things. Meals. Conversations. Outings. Journeys. Housework. Phone calls. It’s these little things that shape our lives, and that’s why it’s worth paying attention to them..
It may sound a little twee, but I genuinely believe that once you tune into life’s little things, you’ll find inspiration everywhere. Stories don’t need to be big to be worth telling. You’ll find small, illuminating stories everywhere. Our days are full of stories. Interesting encounters. Amusing anecdotes. Acts of kindness. Hilarious scrapes. And everywhere, we’re surrounded by small wonders: fresh, tasty food, beautiful vistas, banter that makes your heart sing.
Grumbles Into Gold
For fear I’m starting to sound like a human Hallmark card, I also think it’s worth paying attention to the little annoying things that happen. I know relentless positivity is in fashion these days, but I see little point in denying the fact that annoying things happen, and that they are bothersome. But I strive to turn my grumbles into gold. You can derive great amusement from annoying incidents – after they happen. And I prefer to describe myself as an eloquent ranter than a whinger.
People can be dismissive of little things. How often are we told not to sweat the small stuff? But in a world that can feel overwhelming, at least we can control the little things. And if we pay attention to them, it’s possible that bigger changes may occur. Little things can be microcosms of bigger things. It can be much easier to understand big concepts or to feel the impact of world events by anchoring them in small stories.
Rhythm of Everyday Life
No matter what happens our lives, good or bad, we still need to attend to the little things. They remind us that life goes on. The pendulum may swing back and forth, but it always returns to the centre, beating a steady rhythm. Some people fight against this rhythm. They worry that if they get too caught up in everyday life, this will trivialise the bigger events that happen, in their lives and in the wider world.
But this rhythm helps to balance us. Even if we’ve experienced the worst possible grief, we still have to get up and dress ourselves, buy milk, scrub potatoes and pay bills. And there is a certain comfort in knowing that at least some aspects of our lives stay the same. This rhythm also dilutes our euphoria after a joyful event, but these events can bring their own stress. There’s only so much excitement the human heart can handle. Even if we’ve loved every minute of a wedding or a holiday, it can be a relief to return to that rhythm.
Celebrating Little Things
Little things make our lives richer. That’s why, even if they’re annoying or boring, they’re worth celebrating. I feel an increasing sense of their preciousness, and I feel an increasing need to capture them before they’re lost. I want to find the extraordinary in the ordinary. This is what will help me live my life fully.
What are the little things that you pay attention to, that you feel are precious?