Something I think about a lot is how to inject joy and beauty into the day-to-day. For as long as I can remember, this has been something I’ve tried to do and even more so in the past few years. I was listening to the Happy Place podcast this week and there was an episode (linked here!) with Brené Brown where her and Fearne Cotton, the host, were discussing the pursuit of happiness (among many other things) and from start to finish, the episode resonated with me. I’m already planning to listen to it again because it was that good, but I wanted to share a few ideas that really stood out to me.
I know this isn’t a new or revolutionary idea, we all know that most of life is lived in the ordinary moments of our days rather than the big “events” or milestones, but have you every really stopped and thought about what that means to you?
This sentiment rings true in all aspects of life: relationships, home decor, daily habits, weekend rituals, quiet moments, and busy days. All those seemingly ordinary moments deserve to be celebrated and romanticized a bit and I believe that makes them feel rich, full and well, overall just more appreciated!
I think sometimes we move through our days in self-preservation mode, just getting through and also worrying about what’s to come; while simultaneously trying not to get our hopes up about the big things not working out (again, especially right now!). But it doesn’t have to be either/or. We don’t have to choose between the big moments and the small moments, we’re allowed to savour both! Another great quote from the podcast that really resonated with me, speaks to that sentiment. Brené Brown is speaking about a man she interviewed in researching one of her earlier books and she shared that he’s telling her about the death of his wife and in reflecting on that time of his life, he said…
Ouf! That part genuinely made me tear up. That instinct we all have to avoid being disappointed and feeling pain, is actually not helping us avoid disappointment at all. It’s just casting a shadow over the present.
In the therapy world, we call this mindfulness. Being in the present moment, savouring the things in front of us, noticing how something makes us feel. And more than ever, in this weird time when a lot of the usual “extraordinary” moments are a lot less available (travel, big get-togethers, etc.), I think it’s even more important than ever that we notice the beauty in the ordinary.
So buy the grocery store flowers, pause and take it in when you see light leaking into a room in that perfect way, put on a great playlist while you cook dinner, cuddle your person close, breathe deep on a winter walk; because those are truly the moments that matter and I think there’s a lot of joy and happiness that we’re leaving on the table because we don’t train our eyes to see it.