A Lesson in Gratitude, or, How the Little Things Became the Big Things
I’m sitting here in my tiny little kitchen that I don’t own…gazing out at my cozy little loft with the turquoise carpet that someone else picked out long before I ever arrived here…watching my sweet kitty, Prince Hairy, stalking a bug across the room, carefully following the bug’s path so he can “protect his domain.” (He never actually harms the bug, he just likes to monitor the bug’s every move.) Steam rises from my coffee mug, a gift from a church that only a year ago I could have never imagined I would one day speak at. I had my oatmeal in a paper bowl today, because I don’t have a dishwasher and it saves time and my manicure to not have to wash dishes every single day. I’m 35 and I don’t own much of anything, save my precious VW convertible and a few pieces of furniture – some antique, some old hand me downs that would have been discarded long ago had I not rescued them from certain demise. This isn’t where I pictured my life at age 35, when I closed my eyes tight as a little girl and imagined myself in a far off future complete with the grown-up version of my Barbie Dream House and my perfect Ken doll mate. And neither is it my life at age 30, when I was completely wrapped up in the latest hot spots and being a member of a private club and rubbing elbows regularly with the “it” crowd of Nashville. This is a life that from an outsider’s eyes, might appear banal and mundane and completely average. But as I gaze across this room at my giant thrift store red chair that’s so perfect for snuggling down into and reading all night…and my white twinkly lights strung so carefully above the fireplace…and my candles and books and movies and passions in life all surrounding me and enveloping me like a warm hug…overwhelming gratitude wells up in my spirit and tumbles out of my eyes in the form of hot tears. And for a moment I can’t speak and I don’t want to move even a muscle because I want to hit the pause button and stay right here in this moment of clarity and beauty and peace and thankfulness.
I’m finding, friends, that the most precious and sacred things in life are the most simple things. I’ve done some really cool things in my life and met some of the biggest celebrities you can imagine and had access to star-studded events and walked red carpets and yet, not one moment of any of that brought me the deep soul contentment that sitting here in my glasses and pajamas in my little imperfect and yet perfectly ME loft does. Look around you today. Look closer at your life. The beauty and magic and wonder is all there. Only it’s probably not where you expect. You’re waiting for the grand moments and the pomp and the circumstance and all the while your life is standing there waving at you in all of its colorful, disjointed, simple glory. Don’t miss it. Don’t look past it. Happiness is here. It just arrived quietly while you were searching for it in all the noise.
“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things…” ~Robert Brault