You know those years that you just want to kick in the arse and send flying out your door? The ones where you’re itching for New Year’s Day just so that you can start fresh again; leave all the BS behind you? 2015 was in so, so many ways one of those years for me. Broken dreams, stagnant moments, fractured hearts, health woes, deaths, financial hardships, heart-wrenching parenting moments. Days riddled with anxiety and hopelessness. Nights spent lying wide-eyed and fearful. Yep, 2015 was tough and I’d be painfully dishonest if I didn’t say that a big part of me will be glad to see the back of it in many, many ways.
BUT if we define a “good year” by the sum of small pleasures rather than by the absence of bad things – then my 2015 was actually pretty awesome.
That’s been my focus this year. For every BIG bad moment, there’s a half dozen shiny little good moments that could easily go unnoticed. I’ve been focussed on seeking out those small pleasures; collecting them all up and storing them in the pockets of my heart left empty by each of those big bad moments. Small things, like the way my insides felt warm when I came home to fresh baked banana bread and smiling faces. The butterflies I felt for a good friend when his conversations turned from heartbreak to new love. The pride that welled up in my throat watching my boys at their end year concerts. The smiles that broke at the corners of my mouth listening to dear friends telling yesterday’s stories. The belly-laughs with family that erupted so big I felt like my heart would explode. The sing-song feeling that lifted my soul hearing old friends laughing as they camped in our backyard. The security and lightness I felt having quiet conversations with my husband in the midst of those bad moments.
These are the little things that add up. The small pleasures that together make the big bad stuff hurt less. This is why when people say things like, “You’re so easily pleased,” I smile and I say, “Yes, perhaps I am…because small pleasures add up.” If I’d saved all my excitement for only the big things in life, then this year would have been pretty lousy. If I’d focussed only on the bad stuff, then …well…I certainly wouldn’t be smiling now.
Life really is about the ebbs and flows, the ups and downs, the dark and light. This year was a little dip on the chart of my life, but all those little pleasures bent that curve up just enough to make some really precious memories, relationships and leaps forward.
I wish you all an amazing 2016, and I do so hope that no matter what it brings, you seek to find pleasure in life’s little moments. This, after all, is what really makes life enjoyable on a day-to-day basis. Don’t save all your enthusiasm, gratitude and sunshine for the big moments. You’ve an endless supply of that stuff, so why scrimp on it? Use it every single day for as many little things as you can. Small pleasures add up. I promise you - it’s that simple.