Big life things can be stressful. Heck, if you’re not stressed about a big life thing, is it even a big life thing? In between all these big life things, however, yes, even if they are unnecessarily close together, are hundreds and thousands of little things.
It’s these little things that put a smile back on your face when you’re feeling blue, or the things you’ll remember out of nowhere in six months. The big things are great. They’re motivating and give structure to our lives, but it’s the little things that get us up in the morning and move us onto our new passions.
Recently, I feel like I’ve been too focused on the big things. The finding the right job, the moving out for the first time, the next thing that validates my life choices and makes me feel like I’m a proper adult doing adulthood properly. It’s pretty exhausting. It’s also incredibly stressful. Who knew that thinking about these big life things for every waking second of every day would make your eye start to twitch every few minutes? Well, I know now.
A new month always signifies a fresh slate for me to engrave into and this month I’m going to focusing on the details of the picture that I’m painting for myself (this post is heavy on metaphor isn’t it).
Somewhere a couple of days ago, I read an amazing quote that resonated with me on another kind of level. It didn’t just make me nod and want to fist-pump into the air like a bad-ass girl-boss (that I’m still convincing myself I must be), it struck me to the very core because it aligned pretty perfectly to some of my core values and beliefs.
The more observational we are, the more meaning we can apply to our lives.
I can’t remember if that is the exact wording, nor can I remember who the quote was from (Google hasn’t even helped me out with this one), but there it is.
Pretty basic. Maybe even pretty boring, but pretty much exactly what I believe in.
I don’t believe in any sort of higher power and since the age of 15, I’ve read a lot of books about existentialism. Although I don’t want to put myself in a box, I very much align with the existentialist way of thinking, which shock-horror, is a lot deeper than being familiar with the existential crisis.
In layman’s terms, existentialism is the belief that we apply meaning to our actions and choices. You can see why the quote above resonates so strongly with me now, right?
No, I haven’t mistitled this post, bear with me.
We have to be observational to notice the little things in our lives. You know, the little things like how a shop assistant really engages with you one day, or how that cup of tea is just perfectly brewed with the perfect amount of milk, or how someone has sacrificed their time or resources to help you out with something you’re stressed about.
Noticing these little things isn’t a chore. It isn’t even a luxury. I genuinely believe that it’s a necessary effort because without it, we simply aren’t able to pump more meaning into our lives and you guessed it, all these littles spurs of meaning add up to some big-ass life thing that is amazing and great and wonderful, because it means something.
Observe -> Find Meaning -> Apply Meaning
And it goes on and on and on and on…
Focusing on the little things isn’t just a luxury for those who have the time. Focusing on the little things is the fuel to so many of our fires and a lot of us don’t even realise it (my hand is up on this one).
This is my pledge to notice the little things and fully observe and appreciate them when they’re happening (and when I remember). When I make a perfect cup of tea, when I notice my plants growing, when someone I love reaches out to me when I begin with a seed of an idea and it blossoms before my very eyes, better than I could have ever imagined.
You may have clicked onto this post expecting a snazzy list of little things to cheer you up, or little ways to enjoy the day, but there are enough brilliant posts like that out there. Ingrid recently wrote a fantastic post on Little Everyday Things You Can Do To Boost Your Mood, which I loved reading, just as I loved Allie’s post on her Thirty Days of Happy.
For me, this post (the one you’re reading, right now) has been about cementing my belief that we apply our own meaning to out lives and sharing with you (wonderful, lovely you) just why I believe that focusing on the little wins and the little joys help us all take those big life steps.
Are you focusing too much on the big moving pieces of your life, and not enough on the little meaning-makers? (Wow, that is my favourite new phrase).
Let’s chat in the comments about what you’re favourite little things to notice are. The perfect cup of tea (can you tell I’m hankering after a cuppa?), a friendly moment or something completely different?
Thanks for sticking with me through this slightly more philosophical than usual post. If you learnt something or (even better) realised something, then shout! Make me feel smart and like I’m girl-bossing it.