One of my goals for the summer (and this year in general) has been to try to enjoy the little things more. It sounds so simple, but is so hard. It is so easy to get caught up in all the things going wrong in life and neglect to remember all of the things that are going so, so right. My life is far from perfect. I have character traits I need to work on, a job I don’t really love, I spend far too much time online, I get lonely sometimes, I live in a community that is very much struggling, and I get mad way too much. I have trouble forgiving people that have hurt me. My savings account, although not empty, is rather low. I could really use new clothes and I have plenty of wants. I’m a college student and I need to figure out how I am going to pay for grad school, which I’ll be (hopefully!) starting in two years. I worry a lot, I am not flexible enough, I’m not always that happy. And yet, I am so very, very lucky. I have a family and friends I love. My parents support and love me. I have grandparents that live right around the block. I may not have enough money to buy my first car, but I had the incredible opportunity to study abroad in Peru for three weeks (which is where all of my savings for a car went, by the way). I don’t love my job, but at least I found a job (the job I was hoping to do fell through pretty last minute) and I only have to do it for another few weeks. My parents are very generously paying for the majority of undergrad and because of a really amazing scholarship, I am able to go to a private college that, although I don’t always love, has provided me with an excellent opportunity. I grew up in a gorgeous house, with a huge backyard and my parents value traveling, so I’ve been able to see a lot of the United States and even Switzerland with them. We have a garden that desperately needs weeding, but provides us with fresh vegetables every summer. We have fruit trees and berry bushes that provide us with fruit (most summers). I love my small town, despite all of its problems.
But those are all big things (and yes, they are important, and so easy to take for granted). This year, I want to be grateful for all the small, little things that make my life better. The cool breeze that is blowing across the front porch, where I am sitting while writing this. The delicious meals my mom makes for dinner almost every night. Going to the farmer’s market and getting delicious, fresh food. Our flourishing garden. Blueberrying with my mom and grandpa. Picking raspberries in our back yard. Nights spent laughing and singing karaoke with my aunts. Swimming in my grandparents’ pool. Hanging out with life-long friends around a bonfire. Eating s’mores. Freshly baked cookies. Getting letters in the mail from friends. Holding a baby in my arms. Drinking tea. Fresh-squeezed lemonade. Driving backroads. Floating down a river in a kayak. Movie nights with my sister. Making pancakes for breakfast. Baking muffins. Laughing. Playing cards with my family. The stars in the sky that I miss a lot when I’m at college. Weeding in the garden and making a tiny bit of progress. Photo prints arriving in the mail. Skyping with close friends. Singing familiar hymns in church on Sunday. The view of the mountains. Sitting next to a creek. The sound of kids playing and laughing. Reading a good book.
Someday, I’d love to re-create the summers of my childhood. Laughing and playing and exploring all day long. I hope to someday have a summer completely (or at least pretty close to completely) off- no work, just relaxing and playing and having fun. But for now I am content to just sit back and enjoy those little things that are actually not that little. I love this quote from Shanti:
And at the end of the day, your feet should be dirty, your hair messy and your eyes sparking.
What little, simple things have you been enjoying this summer?
Sources: top image, bottom image- unknown (if anyone knows where this came from, please let me know so I can update this!)