First and foremost, I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine’s Day filled with love and laughter. I did, I actually got to spend it with two dear friends and my daughter. My husband eventually got out of class, and was there too. In hindsight, it was one of the best Valentine’s Day ever, being surrounded by all that love.
The other day, on my drive home I was talking to my mom about my daughter. I believe I was lamenting the fact that she is 14 and will be gone soon. My mom reminded me how lucky I am because my daughter still wants to spend time with me. She got me to thinking about my life, and how I spend my time.
I am very lucky and blessed that my 14 year old daughter wants to spend time with me. The other day, I had to work late and I missed our evening cuddle, that is right, we still cuddle, so she got up 30 minutes early to help me make dinner and to talk. I was so happy. Getting up before 6 a.m. never looked so good.
We had the best time laughing while we cut up veggies. Two weeks ago, I rushed home from work so we could make Valentine Shirts. I never remember having so much fun with puffy paint before. Or this week, when we spent hours talking about the perfect dance outfit.
These are the little things. And I think they may mean more and be more valuable than the big things. B and I have been to countless concerts, we have screamed ourselves hoarse at three Taylor Swift concerts. We have taken exotic vacations together, Disney World, cruises to Mexico, and they have all been fun and magical.
But honestly, it is the little things I live for, or rather that highlight my life. Our daily conversation of how was your day or what do you have going on today, the unexpected shopping trip, the belly laugh in Walmart, those are the moments I remember and gain strength from.
A few weeks ago, I had the worst asthma attack of my life, I could not walk after. I was scared, my body was numb and then it tingled. I actually fell to the floor. Thankfully my husband was with me and could pick me up. He got me to bed and all I could was lay there. I cried. I was scared and I missed my tv time with B.
The next thing I knew, she was opening the door and crawling into bed with me. She wrapped her arms around me and held me until I fell asleep. These are the moments I know I have been a successful mom, the moments I know I have taught her empathy, they are also the moments I treasure with her the most.
This past month, I was fussing at my husband because he had not taken me on a date in quite some time. You see, I can finally admit that I am a fancy girl, who likes pretty things and wants to get all dressed up. He kept trying to say that he was sorry, but it was the little things that mattered, not the dates. I was mad, so I did not listen. But, then it occured to me, it is the little things. Like when he makes the bed in the morning, or washes dishes on his lunch break, or tells me to sit after a long day, he will clean the kitchen. It is those things that matter. The dates matter too, they keep our relationship fresh, new and alive, but the little things make it feel like we have been together for a hundred years.
The other day, I had a particularly rough day at work, I came home to a clean house, all homework done and dinner on the table. After dinner Rick pulled ice cream out of the the freezer. Or the day I worked particularly late, I woke up to a cherry limeade. These are the things that make my day, the moments that highlight my week. But please do not think these moments get my husband out of out semi-monthly dates, a girl’s gotta have her dates. We need to be wined and dined, but we also need the little things.
I began this year determined to be a better person than I was the previous day. One of the best ways for me to grow is to count my blessings daily. I began a gratitude journal, Oprah writes in one daily and claims it helps her more than anything. It has helped me. I notice the little things, I look for them. Just last week I had a rough day, so I set out to look for the little things. I found comfort in sunshine, joy in my dog’s silly dance and happiness in a flower. I was so much better after that.
So I would encourage you to remember the little things, to look for them. The big things are important, I am already planning my next cruise adventure with my family, they give us hope and something to look forward to. Remind my husband of that if you see him, the dates give me hope and something to be excited about. But the little things highlight and mark the many joys of our daily lives.
I highly recommend you start a gratitude journal. There are some great free apps for your smart device. If you have trouble filling it out, seek the help of a mental health professional. I know my staff loves the little things too, and they love sharing the joy of someone else’s moments. I often share the antics of my dogs with them, and they always laugh.
If you cannot identify the small moments, if you cannot find daily joy or gratitude, please seek professional help. They will help you find the daily joy.