Lillith Black

Exploring life through writing

Be Happy: The Simple Pleasures

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to Simplify My Life. Besides the obvious things like clearing out the clutter, getting more organized and other physical matters, I think it is important to simplify my life perception.

So often I find myself unhappy and wonder why. I mean, I have everything that an average American Dreamer desires: great day job with excellent benefits (and Yes, pension), house in a safe neighborhood, wonderful husband, great kids, what more can I possibly want? I should be happy at all hours of the day. Yet I find myself unhappy at times, searching for something and not finding it. What is that I’m looking for? Maybe I’m just looking in all the wrong places?

Let me take a tiny step back and tell you that I’m a perfectionist. God, why?! Anyway. With that comes general desire for the things to be perfect (obviously), for the plans to execute just as planned and in the fastest fashion possible. And that kind of mindset is just an invitation for unhappiness. So I have decided, after reading some fantastic books like ‘The Four Agreements’ by Don Miguel Ruiz and ‘Hector and the Search for Happiness’ by Francois Lelord, that I will focus my attention on small, simple things in life and enjoy every last of them. Away from the Big Plans and onto the Small Steps.

During the holidays my husband and I took a drive to San Francisco, and so here are the small things that made the trip to our favorite city simply amazing:

  • Honey sweetened black tea and salami/provolone sandwiches on a multigrain bread, packed for the trip and enjoyed during the ride up to the city
  • Holding my husband’s hand while he is driving, having him by my side
  • Delicious breakfast of waffles and tea the next morning and off to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
  • Enjoying art at the museum, anything from precise computer generated images to paintings created by generously applied acrylic and oil paint
  • Beautiful weather outside, sunny, breezy, chilly San Francisco air, just perfect
  • Dinner at a Peruvian Fusion restaurant, classic dishes with a modern twist, fantastic ambiance

During this time I had a burst of writing energy. I had my notebook with me at all times (I usually don’t) and was jotting down ideas, snapshots of how I felt, appreciation journal entries.

I switched from thinking of all the things that were yet to be done to small things that were happening right there and then. In his book ‘Hector and the Search for Happiness’, Francois Lelord lists the Lessons on happiness he has observed during his travels. Among them are Lesson 3 “Many people see happiness only in their future” and Lesson 20 “Happiness is a certain way of seeing things”. I learned my lesson and tried my best to switch my perception to See things and see them Now.

As much as we need to plan for the future and set goals, sometimes our Big Pictures are getting too big and overwhelm us. Step back, recognize and enjoy the small puzzle pieces that make up your Big Picture. Smell a freshly brewed cup of Earl Gray, put your face up to the sunlight, feel the breeze, take a nap, visit a good friend, recharge and then get back and Write.

 

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