“Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” ~ Robert Brault in National Enquirer …
Looking back over the past years of my life, with all the wisdom I have gained so far, I am both amazed by the many wonderful moments, days, and experiences I have been a part of, but also a bit saddened and regretful of those I have missed because I was looking for something big to come along. It is difficult for me to think of all the opportunities I have squandered away because I was looking for something else. And although I obviously do not spend my days wallowing in regret, I sometimes wish that I could reach back and change the ways that I have reacted to people and things, and the manner in which I treated them.
Of course, my past regrets serve very little purpose other than to remind myself of my past mistakes and foolishness, so that I can remember not to make those same ones again. Beyond that, it is best that I simply enjoy my life as it is–experiencing it to the fullest, expressing more appreciation for the little things, and making the best of my current situations. By doing so, I am able to lessen the amount of regret that I experience, and make the duration of those seemingly significant moments less severe.
Our lives are made up of the hundreds of thousands of little moments we have available to us. And if we make the mistake of thinking that life has a meaning that is bigger than these moments, we will spend our lives thinking that what is happening right now is less significant than what is going to happen later. Endlessly we will search for something of great value and worth, but will be left with much regret; for the moments that really matter most were the little things all along.
Although we may not know it, those “little things” in our lives tend to have the biggest impact on the lives of others. The advice you gave to a confused friend or the company you provided to a lonely soul. The meal you bought and prepared for a hungry stomach or the guidance you provided for a troubled child. The smile you offered to a burdened heart or the help provided to someone in need. I try to look at every moment as important, because from our limited perspective on life, we really cannot know what is truly big and what is truly small. We can only give our best to each moment, and hope that it is enough. And we can only do our best to enjoy all that we experience–enjoy the moments, the gifts, and the company we keep–for life is about the little things that add up to make a life.
Make the most of those things that seem little or insignificant throughout the day.
Questions to consider:
How do you determine what is really big and what is small? How is your track record for judging?
How do you define a “big thing” as opposed to a “little thing”?
What kinds of things do you not enjoy? Would your experience of those things change at all if you allowed yourself to enjoy them?
For further thought:
“For many years now I have listened to the stories of people with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses as their counselor. From them I have learned how to enjoy the minute particulars of life once again, the grace of a hot cup of coffee, the presence of a friend, the blessing of having a new cake of soap or an hour without pain. Such humble experience is the stuff that many of the very best stories are made of. If we think we have no stories it is because we have not paid enough attention to our lives. Most of us live lives that are far richer and more meaningful than we appreciate.” ~ Rachel Naomi Remen