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Earlier today, I read the tiny buddha article 40 Little Things That Make a Big Difference In Your Day. It wasn't the 40 things themselves that spoke to me, but the message itself: that small pleasures throughout the day can be more satisfying than a grand experience had all at once, and that they can make the difference between a bad day and a good one.

One thing that I also got out of it, but which was not directly stated, is that these small pleasures aren't necessarily absent from the "bad" days—it's just that we tend to not notice them, or we're too distracted by "bigger things" to take time to appreciate them.

For me, just deciding to take notice of the nice things has already made a significant improvement in my mood today. I did three things, specifically, that I otherwise would have done anyway, but that I chose to make significant by paying attention to the fact that they made me feel good. Those things were:

  1. I closed the Facebook tab in my web browser. It's amazing how much of a mood booster it is to not look at everyone's negativity, intransigence, and mean-spiritedness all day. A year on LiveJournal doesn't generate the kind of gut-roiling, twitch-inducing anger/despair that even a single day on Facebook does (my feuds with various egotistical science fiction authors, boy-toys of D-list celebrities, and well-meaning-but-misguided political analysts notwithstanding).

  2. I enjoyed an outdoor lunch at Mike's BBQ. I sat in the shade, which was pleasantly warm, and ate a tri-tip sandwich with wonderful hickory barbecue sauce and some very well-prepared fries, with a bottled black cherry soda to drink. It was very pleasant and refreshing.

  3. When I returned to work, I had a cup of coffee. I know, that may not sound like much, but I thought of it as the "dessert" to the lunch I'd just enjoyed, and that made it a much nicer experience.

Obviously, the idea isn't to fill up ones day with these things, just to notice and enjoy them as they come along. But it's enlightening to discover the difference that just that little change makes.

What are some of the little pleasures you enjoy throughout your day or week?


Jul. 25th, 2012 07:22 pm (UTC)
Mike's is a really good place. And sitting outside also means that I'm not surrounded by fifty televisions all tuned to ESPN. :)

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