Lesson from 2015: It’s the Little Things In Life

Posted: January 3, 2016 in Uncategorized
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One of my take away life lessons from 2015 is that it’s the little things in life that can have the most impact, at least for me.

I’ve struggled a lot over the past couple years with feeling not good enough, feeling like I’m not doing enough, and being unhappy. I’ve been stressed out basically. I was stressed out with school and feeling like I was never doing good enough or just plan old doing enough with it, I was stressed out working a job where my income didn’t cover my bills, I was stressed out trying to pay for health insurance, I was stressed out with a job where my work was not appreciated and I was not treated with respect, so I left that job and was still stressed out at not having enough money, I was also stressed out and feeling bad over social conceptions of what it means to not have a job.

By the end of 2015 I’m much happier. I’m not making a lot of money, money hasn’t ceased being a worry, ends still don’t quite meet for me, but it’s better than before. More importantly, I have a job where I feel valued. And those little things make all the difference.

I  still don’t have a “PhD” behind my name, yet. I didn’t present at any big conferences. I also didn’t go to any big concerts. I didn’t meet anyone famous. In many ways I didn’t “do” a whole lot.

Yet- I am far more happy with things.

With the new year, I saw this idea that I liked when I read about it- to create a rememberence jar- decorate a mason jar and then write down some good thing, or some memory, in that jar each day and at the end of the year you can see all these great memories or positive things.

This sounded great and I was totally going to do this, but then Jan 1st I was in my kitchen washing dishes late at night and wondering what I could possibly write down for that day. Washed dishes? That’s not really a big important memory to make note of.

But doing dishes is one of those little things in life. Few things in life seem to feel as good to me as a clean and empty sink. Maybe because I so rarely have one. Yet day to day those little things, and little sources of happiness, like getting all my dishes washed, have more impact on my overall happiness and quality of life than big exciting things, like going to a concert.

Which may just be me. I may just be exceedingly boring. I’m ok with that. For me, that’s how it is. So, keeping that in mind for myself, maybe something that seems designed to highlight “special” moments over everyday ones isn’t the best fit for me and my life.

I think there is a lot of pressure in our culture to have lives that look exciting from the outside. I feel this in particular being an introverted person, the assumption that surely my life would have more meaning, be fuller, and be better if I just go out more often, and do things, in public, with other people. But for me, that is not my path to happiness.

I mentioned in my last post that I like resolutions/goals for a new year that build off of things that have already worked. Well, keeping that in mind, I hope to spend 2016 staying in touch with the importance of little things. It may not make the most impressive instagram photo, or the most exciting story to share, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important or worthwhile.

  1. G says:

    I like this a lot. Maybe we might remember those big events years down the road, but we live in the everyday moments and that’s probably the place to look for contentment. I’m glad 2015 was a fulfilling year for you at the everyday level.

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