Everyone loves huge joys, the take-my-breath-away, can-this-be-me, yippee-yahoo-yaaaay! joys. Some people even become speechless. (A lover of words and hyphens, I’m not one of those.)
Many, though, experience bits of gladness that barely raise adrenaline levels, yet light blahness like a candle’s flame. For example:
- Being the very first to stick a spoon into a jar of peanut butter.
- Discovering an in-law’s dog chewed your shoes already destined for the trash.
- Putting away groceries without remembering what you forgot.
- Buying avocados at exactly the right stage of ripeness.
- Almost spilling something purple on a friend’s white carpet but recovering in time.
- Seeing someone else has reloaded toilet paper. She may have been a burglar, but wouldn’t you like to shake her hand?
- Baking brownies with crispy edges and gooey middles — though someone will inform you they are too crispy. Or too gooey. Which doubles the little joy, as you can eat them all yourself.
- Discovering you really did leave your phone at home, rather than at O’Hare.
Maybe that last qualifies as a big joy, an end-zone-dance celebration. But other small joys make a difference:
- That someone held the door open for you when your arms were full. And didn’t let go too soon.
- That your car, even more hostile toward winter than you, started at first try.
- That a human hug is something computers will never replace.
- That rain doesn’t have to be shoveled.
- That no one cares whether pink or blue baby sleepers are politically correct. At least, not in Indiana.
- That you finished a book delightful as a hot fudge sundae — and no calories!
“It doesn’t take much to make you happy,” critics might say.
As if everyday happinesses don’t matter. As if little joys collected throughout a lifetime don’t add up to something substantial.
On the contrary, they shine in a person’s face, walk and talk. In memories of them long after they pass on.
That is no small thing.
Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What little joys brighten your days?