Thankful for little things

Published 8:38 pm Friday, November 20, 2009

This is part three of a month-long column examining things for which we should all be grateful this Thanksgiving.

In any given day, there are at least a dozen small moments that make my life interesting. I like to call these the little things, and I am thankful for each moment. Sometimes the little things in life make it worth living.

It is easy to remember important life events, such as graduations, births, weddings, etc. These moments have a way of solidifying themselves in our brains because of the significance. But, oh how often one can forget things like watching the woman in the car next to us at the stop light, rocking out to her radio with the windows rolled down, and how that brought a smile to your face for a moment. Look close enough, and you might find I’m that person singing to the radio.

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I love the little moments. It makes me smile when I find a great deal on a name-brand item at a thrift store, eat homemade macaroni and cheese, diffuse my curly hair, find my way to a place in town without getting lost or sit on a bench in the sun on a fall afternoon. I cherished the little moment of coming home from work one weekend and finding my boyfriend had prepared dinner and had it waiting on the table.

My day is brightened when I put on a pair of fuzzy socks after a long day of work, talk with my sisters over the phone or in person, or receive an email with a electronic card on a day when I need a little pick-me-up. It even makes me smile thinking back on the squirrel visitor I had in my apartment my first week of living here.

Taking a step back and observing the beauty of life, even in the most mundane moments, makes running through the motions of your day not so dull. As cliché as it might sound, through this you can find extraordinary from the ordinary.

Not passing over the small moments of your day makes you appear happier to others as well. Hypothetically, a mother asks her child “How was your day at school?” The expected answer is a casual “good” or “fine.” But, if the child starts going on and on about using a new box of crayons, getting chocolate milk at lunch instead of plain milk at lunch and playing with the building blocks during free time, it sounds more optimistic than a succinct answer.

Take a hint from a schoolchild. Do more than take a moment to smile over the little things. Tell a friend about the little things and let them smile about it too.

Laura Fenton is the education and general assignments reporter for the Times-Journal. She can be reached at 410-1744 or