Little Things That Make Me Smile

Little Things That Make Me Smile
by Wendy Astle

A lot of times in our daily routine there are things that just pass us by, unnoticed. Little things, we overlook in our daily shuffle. Sometimes I wonder if people became more aware of these things, if our hectic lives would be less stressful.

We all say things about how children are so carefree and stress-free, yet we don’t really think about this very much. Something I’ve noticed about children is how they take time to look at things and enjoy simple pleasures. They are drawn to a pretty flower, or a butterfly, whereas we whisk by without a second glance. Perhaps we could learn a thing or two from them. I know. I know. We’re so busy, and our day is all planned out. We have to be here by 9, and there by 11. We’re just too busy!

While getting the kids ready for school, just tune-in to what they are saying. That is bound to give you a lift. They are always chatting about positive and happy things. If you’ll take a minute to listen, you might even hear yourself laugh. So what if their juice box is on top of their sandwich. Kids don’t care. They don’t even care if they eat. They just do it because their tummies hurt if they don’t. There’s a lesson we could learn.

Do you really think it takes that much time to enjoy the beauty of a bird gliding overhead? You could just steal a glance as you’re driving to work, and think about it for a while. Not every detail about your meeting has got to be rehashed. By the time you’re on your way, you’re as ready as you’re going to be. Relax a little, and set your mind to something more calming.

When you arrive at work, find something cheerful to look at as you begin. Cheerful at work! No, I’m not kidding. There has to be something. Even if it’s that the pretty girl in accounting has fat ankles. Just kidding! If there is nothing there that lightens your day, take a family photo with you next time.

Take advantage of your lunch hour. Go outside, or escape into a book. You could even do what I like to do—stare off into space and let your mind float. Just keep track of time.  All this stress reducing stuff will be upset if you get yelled at for being late. Try smiling at someone. That is an automatic mood lifter; for you and for the other person.

On your way home, be aware of the scenery. Trees, grass, flowers, in the summer. Sun shining on the snow, in the winter. It’s all there. It’s up to you to take it all in. Keep your eye on the road though, or you might get too close to the scenery.

Who says that driving the kids to practice and after school activities has to be a chore? Plan your supper, and give the kids a task to do that will help you. One of them could set the table while another could hang up the coats. This will make it easier for you, and make you less stressed. Little kids like to help. The big ones are going to grumble anyway, so give them something to grumble about that’s beneficial to you.

When you are home, spend time relaxing and being with your family. You are away from it all, in your retreat. Don’t waste your precious down time with thoughts of work and schedules. That will all start again in the morning. This is your time. Use it. Remember that life happens, and it’s up to us how we deal with it.

Wendy Astle graduated from Saint Thomas University with a Bachelor of Arts degree. Interested in writing her entire life, she decided to share her views on life after attending some workshops. Wendy lives in Blackville, NB, with her husband and two daughters. She can be reached at