It really is the little things

Conventional wisdom tells us not to indulge too much in the small things because those little things take away from accomplishing a really big thing. 


Forgo regular Starbucks coffee runs in order to save for a summer vacation.  Decline the jar of mediocre candies in the office and indulge instead on a rich, on-of-a-kind dessert at you favorite restaurant.  Let go of your spouse's minor ticks and quirks that irk you and choose only the battles that matter most.  In other words, do not think small.


It's funny: with each passing year, this principle rings less and less true. 


I find that, far from detracting from my experiencing life to the fullest through the fantastical, amazing moments, the small things infuse my life with meaning, hope, and joy. 


I don't want to deny myself an occasional three dollar latte in pursuit of a gargantuan savings goal if the coffee will make my morning more sane, more purposeful, and more joyous.  Neither do I see any point to saving my good candles for company or occasions so special that they never seem to come around when burning them in the here-and-now, today, can make my writing flow more readily and my work more pleasant.   These small rituals--or treats, that are welcome interruptions from monotonous routines--wake up my senses and remind me to pay attention.  


It is the little spats with my husband Dan about which cutting board to use with fruit that tell us that our marriage is alive, that it is a breathing, very human organism between the two of us.  The alternative is that we do not care or do not notice, until one day something insurmountable happens, and the relationship is broken.  Yes, it is the little things--good and bad, profound and silly.


That I smell the pear blossoms down in the Deep South for one week between March and May and savor them before they horribly stink calls me to acknowledge how transient this world is and that nothing is permanent nor can be taken for granted.  Almost everything is cyclical but not forever.


My wallet may be poorer for it, but I do buy the good chocolate bars I find when I am shopping at the grocery store and I say yes to the treats that make me feel as though I am more important than I am: occasional (and occasional is the operative word here) small batch kombuchas and fun crazy socks and fancier workout clothes than I need. 


My soul is richer for it.

Emily Rowell Brown