The other weekend, Mr. Muse and I were running errands here, there, and everywhere, which included the grocery store. It was a rather busy day, and there were people and carts everywhere! But, as we turned into the aisle housing the canned soups, I heard a little voice utter something that first, gave me pause, second, made me laugh, and third, reminded me that in life, it’s the little things that count.
A little girl in a purple coat wearing a hat with a pouf on top and mittens dangling from her sleeves on a string rounded the corner to stand in front of the canned soups. Standing, arms akimbo, she said, “Well, Hello Campbell’s soup! Which of you are going to come home with me today?!” She clapped and rubbed her hands together in anticipation.
I think she was probably about 7 years of age, but she was excited for soup, and filled with joy at the task of choosing which of those lucky cans would make it home with her and her family. It was mere moments later, a bit further away, that I heard “Ooo! Chicken Noodle!” I was already laughing and trying to keep my volume to a more conversational level as I relayed what I’d just heard to Mr. Muse. But there was something utterly adorable in this child’s enthusiasm for a simple food that we all seem to take for granted.
That enthusiasm for the simple is something from which we could all glean an important life lesson: take joy in the little things.
We don’t need to fill our lives with bigger, better, and more expensive, because usually striving for those items comes at the expense of the little things. If you find joy in the striving – by all means, continue forth on your mission, but I have found that, for me, the striving is often a producer of immense stress. Stress, isn’t good.
So, remember the little things, the first snow of the season (or the fifteenth), a nap in a sunbeam, a good book and a warm mug of tea, a purring cat in your lap….
Or, a can of chicken noodle soup that is lucky enough to be picked by you and brought home.
What “little things” bring you joy?
Often times the simple life is the good life !!
My kids *hate* grocery shopping with me – particularly, I think, because I treat grocery shopping as I treat running – something that *must* be done, but something that should take less team each time you do it. But, at 8 and 9, there is a level of excitement & wonder & anticipation when I tell them to pick out something (either together or by themselves – together leads to interesting bouts of negotiation).
But you’re right – in a hustle-bustle world, it’s so very easy to forget that great joy can be found in very simple acts.
I LOVE grocery shopping, but cooking and baking are happy things for me, so looking for the ingredients for them is just part of that experience. I don’t, however, enjoy painting – as in: painting rooms. I’ve had friends who enjoy it say that it’s a very meditative task, but to me… I might as well be getting flogged as I’m brushing or rolling on the paint – it’s torture! Now, get me in the garden to pull weeds, and while not my FAVORITE task, it is one in which I can slip into the meditative state. The same with mowing the lawn – two hours on the lawn tractor left alone with my thoughts beneath the roar of the engine.