Friday, March 26, 2010

The Simple Things

Photo courtesy of Flickr

Hello Optimists,

I try as often as I can to appreciate the little things in life...and I have found that the things we often overlook and take for granted are some of the most beautiful things life has to offer. It was to my surprise that I found a post the other day about this very subject: enjoying the small pleasures in life. The author listed 101 of her favorite "small pleasures", things we normally don't take into consideration on a daily basis, but are nonetheless, directly related to our happiness. It was quite a long list, but as I scanned through it, I found many things that I too find to be the greatest simple pleasures we encounter throughout our lives. Take for instance, #62: Green lights all the way home, #48 Singing along to the radio and knowing all the words, #77 The cold side of a pillow, or how about the ever-so-appropriate #30 Inspiring blogs. These things, though not essential to existence, are guaranteed to always put us in a good mood and put a smile on our faces. They have nothing to do with buying things, spending/earning money, or being recognized for something...they are just little things that make us smile.

I began to think of some things that I would put on my own list, though there wasn't much left to think of after reading through 101 in that article. But I did come up with a few that, for me personally, are small pleasures that I try to never in no particular order, here's my little list:

1. Puppy's breath
2. Capturing the perfect candid photo
3. Seeing your reflection in the mirror and, for a moment, thinking it was your mom/dad
4. The warmth of the sun on your skin
5. A baby's laugh
6. The smell of a library book
7. The sound of someone's cannon ball splash in the pool
8. Laundry straight out of the dryer
9. Turning to a new month on the calendar
10. Silence (or should I say "silence")

I think what's so great about this is that though we may find that we have some things in common, I bet all of our lists would have many different things on them. And if you're having a hard time thinking of the little things to write down or that you don't have time to acknowledge these stupid little things, what you may find is that you need to simplify your life. Step away from your laptop, put away your iPhone, put your work on hold for just a few minutes....and think about the simple pleasures that life is giving us. After doing some thinking of my own and coming up with the list above, I remembered a quote about simplifying life and the difference it can make. It's like that relaxing and rejuvenating feeling we get when we go to get a massage or take a nap in a hammock; taking out all of the chaos leaves us with a raw view of the world...with no strings attached.
As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness. -Henry David Thoreau
So take a moment today to simplify your is Friday after all, so what better a time to do that?! Unwind from the long week and forget about all the complicated stuff that takes up too much of your time. Keep this quote in mind the next time you're feeling a bit too busy, a bit too rushed, and when you come to the realization that life is merely passing you by. When this happens, don't think about what you should write on your To-Do list, or what to add to the grocery list. Rather, this is when you need to take the time to make a list of your own 101 simple pleasures. It feels good to just sit down and write about what makes you smile.

What would be on your list?

Keep Smiling,
Optimal Optimist

P.S. Read the original article here


  1. Following you from Friday Follow!

    Have a great weekend! :)

  2. I love this post! I often take the little things for granted!! Thanks for the inspiration!! Found you from FF! Love your cute blog! :)

  3. Hi, there! I incorporate simple pleasures into my blog as well. I think we may be kindred spirits, so I am looking forward to reading your posts!

    Ciao, Laura

  4. Nessa this post is exactly what I needed today. I have sooo much studying to do for an exam that I have on Monday and I can't help but scream "whyyyyyyy" in my mind lol. But I did exactly what you said...I took a break and looked at the little things. Thank you hun :)

  5. Here from FF

    Take a minute to check out my blog
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  6. Hi! I found you from Ali's blog! (Mommie Life) I LOVE your blog so much! Definitely following now. ;)

  7. Hi! I found you on SeededBuzz. And I liked your post...simple things that make us happy are the best! But I couldn't buzz your seed because I did a similarly themed post so recently...100 things that make me happy. So I did the next best thing...I put a link to your blog in my post! Yes, it's near the end, but at least it does connect! Thank you for keeping me focused on the simple joys in life :-)

  8. love, Love, LOVE your site! I came across it while on - the best blogs are the ones that you just happen to "stumble across" - Life is definitely about being "in the moment" and being grateful for all that we have - thanks for this great post!


  9. Well, I never sniifed a library book. (Been in too many hands), and unless I'm turning the calendar to a page that is indicating the arrival of Spring, it doesn't do much for me, lol, but I do like some of the things on your list.

    A couple of mine would be:

    The look of my twins little behinds when they are crawling away from me, while fighting to change their diaper. SO cute!

    The scent of a newborn baby.

    The way it feels to sink into bed, after everybody is asleep, and rest in a fuzzy blanket and soft pillow, hearing nothing but silence.

    The peace when it's late and the phone finally stops ringing.

    I may do a post like this. Would you like to have a guest post on my website, If so, write me and let me know.

    I'm a new follower/fan.

    Hugs, Shelly



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