I’m sure you’ve all heard the expression “It’s the simple things in life.” It seems, though, that we don’t always take the time to truly appreciate them. Some of these simple things might even be stuff we really don’t care for, at least not without a moment or two to pause and reflect on why we should. Take, for example, pollen; that icky-yellow powder that coats our cars and houses every spring, boosting sales of allergy medicine and tissue alike. It’s not exactly the first thing I’d put on my own top ten list of simple things I’m thankful for, but it probably should be on the list. somewhere. Why? Well pollen season means the start of spring. And I love spring. Flowers, green leaves, bees buzzing around making honey for me to buy at the local farmers market…spring wouldn’t be spring without it. Still, when all is said and done I’m not a huge fan of pollen. I’d be willing to put it on my list though. Maybe somewhere down around nine hundred ninety-nine or a thousand ;-) The point is that it is there on that list. It’s just not something I think about often. I mean who goes out in the morning, turns on their windshield washers on their car to clean the thick coating of dandelion-yellow powder off enough to see, and goes: Thank you, Pollen, for bringing me spring! Not many of us, right?
This Monday’s tragedy of the Boston Marathon really made me think about the simple things I take for granted in my life. After hearing of the courage and kindness displayed by so many of the people present there, it seemed appropriate that I challenge myself to be a little stronger, a little braver, a little more appreciative. To that end, whenever I am feeling frustrated or overwhelmed or downright moody, I’ve made a resolution to take a deep breath and come up with three simple things that I have to be thankful for. Three things that when I pause and reflect will make me smile and hopefully move on with my day with my head high and a smile on my face. I do this for me. I do this for the people I see this day. And I do this to honor the three lives lost in Boston. Here are ten of these simple things that I’ve come up with so far that I’d like to share with you:
1. Bird songs in the morning…no matter how early.
2. Good morning kisses and hugs from my kids before they get on the bus.
3. A purring cat on my lap "helping" me work.
4. Hydrangeas that seem to thrive despite my brown thumb.
5. A house full of noisy children that mark the end to my writing day.
6. Sand in my washing machine…because it came from moments like this:
7. Orange and blue fingers from tie-dying 28 shirts for my daughter’s class…a small price to pay for being part of my children’s lives.
8. A quiet evening walk with my husband.
9. Spring peepers, crickets, and cicadas that lull me to sleep.
10. Hearts left in the butter to be found later. Thank you, my beautiful girl. I love you, too!
How about you? Can you come up with at least three simple things that you are thankful for today?