Sometimes on my drive to work in the mornings, I gaze out of the car window (usually the front one) at passing fields and wish I was a horse.
Horses spend a lot of time in the countryside eating. They’re occasionally ridden. They have nice hair.
But then the very fact that I am able to propel a tonne of metal and plastic at 60 mph to my place of work using just my feet and hands, while also pondering the life of a horse, is quite a remarkable thing. Being human is quite a remarkable thing. Also I’m not sure I’d get on with the hooves.
Kahlil Gibran once wrote: “The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.”
In a minute I’m going to start my list of 22 small joys in life (which I haven’t actually thought of yet) But first of all I wanted to say this: we shouldn’t pretend sorrow doesn’t exist. A lot of us are guilty of doing that – especially British people. We’re terrible at things like death and disease and heart-break. We don’t know what to say to each other. We sort of just wish the sad people would go away for a bit and come back when they’re feeling better and can talk about the weather and Bake Off again.
Right now, some of you reading this will be feeling a bit sad (or very sad), and the very idea that there could be 22 small joys in life might seem frankly preposterous to you. I didn’t want this to be a happyclappy live-laugh-love wall quote kind of post. I just wanted to think about some of the stupid little things that stir my happy chemicals, because there are always reasons to be sad. Orcas in swimming pools, for instance. Factory farming, displaced immigrants, angry drivers, racists…(clearly I’d be better off writing a ’22 little sorrows in life’ post). Let’s just take a few minutes to appreciate the good stuff. Let me know in the comments what your little joys are – however mundane or weird they might sound.
My small joys:
- Big bowl of pasta with cheese and ketchup.
- Car music loud, windows down, sunny day.
- Getting earwax out of my ears with a q-tip, knowing it’s not advisable.
- Wine on a Friday (evening).
- Approaching the end of a run and getting an adrenaline boost and sprinting like a madman.
- Being alone in a beautiful place (It’s allll mine moahahaha).
- Reading a book that’s so good I forget I exist.
- Meeting a dog that likes me back.
- A good cup of tea (you know what I mean).
- Cold beer after a long walk.
- Getting an unexpected compliment from someone (yes I need external validation and I’m not ashamed).
- Saving small animals and insects from potential death (especially bumble bees).
- Catching a really early flight – so early that everything feels weird and surreal, and the sun isn’t up yet, and drunk people are still stumbling home, and the air is crisp and you’re full of anticipation for your trip.
- Funny things on the Internet.
- Cheese that’s been under a grill.
- Good hair days.
- Pygmy anything.
- Imagining what any body of water would look like if you took the water away .
- Having one of those really involved, detailed apocalypse dreams.
- Getting a slice of cake after looking round a National Trust property.
- Hearing a song with lyrics that perfectly describe your current mood or situation, then gazing mysteriously out of a window while listening to it.
- When my guinea pigs trot around spasming because they simply can’t handle their excitement.
I didn’t put too much thought into these, you can probably tell. I’m better at being pessimistic. Let me know your small joys in the comments!