For Mother’s Day this year, I traveled up the California coast to Fort Bragg to visit my second-oldest son (whose birthday it also happened to be) and family. We had a great time together: Among other things, we played cards and board games, meandered through the quaint town of Mendocino, took walks and played Frisbee on the beach, visited the fantastically blooming Botanical Gardens in Fort Bragg, ate barbecue at a local restaurant, and splurged on bread pudding for breakfast on Sunday. (Notice the absence of electronically oriented entertainment.)
I came home feeling revitalized and ready to approach a new week with fresh eyes and energy. And I am reflecting, not for the first time, that it is the Little Things that most enrich life—the walks and meals and smiles. Just as it is the Little Things that annoy us the most—the toothpaste squeezed from the wrong end, clothes on the floor, and unwashed dishes in the sink. It’s the Little Things that make or break our days. Perhaps more importantly, where we choose to focus—on the negative or the positive—affects how we perceive the quality of our lives.
For this reason, this week’s journaling prompts are all about The Little Things:
- Make a list of at least ten Little Things for which you are grateful today. Review the list and write about how you feel and about how you perceive your life as a whole.
- Make a list of at least ten Little Things that annoyed you today. Review the list and write about how you feel and about how you perceive your life as a whole.
- Read your previous two entries. How does the tone of the prose at the end of the second list differ from the first? Did what you write about affect your mood and perception of life? Freewrite for ten minutes about your observations.
- What are the Little Things in your life that make you feel most happy? What in your experience has made those things important to you?
- If you could have one—just one—Little Thing be or happen in your life every day, what would that Little Thing be, and why?
- If you could chose to never have one Little Thing be or happen in your life—ever—what would it be, and why is that Little Think so annoying or unpleasant that you would ban it forever?
- Do you consider yourself to be a “glass-is-half-full” or “glass-is-half-empty” kind of person? Do you focus more on the pleasant or unpleasant sorts of Little Things? Do you feel that you have a choice about how you see things? Either way, in what ways does your way of looking at the world serve you well and in what ways does it not serve you?
I invite you to leave a comment below: share your thoughts about Little Things, as well as any insights you may have discovered after writing to one or more of this week’s prompts.