Recently, I’ve been reflecting on the fact that there’s nothing big going on in my life. I have a pretty standard routine that involves a lot of the same minutia repeated day in and day out. I wake up at the same time, eat breakfast at the same time, shower at the same time, catch the train at the same time, arrive at work at the same time, do the same general tasks at work, eat lunch at the same time, leave work at the same time, catch the train home at the same time, arrive home at the same time, eat dinner at the same time, watch Boy Meets World at the same time, do dishes at the same time, read a book at the same time, and go to bed at the same time. I don’t hate my routine, but like most people I kind of just accept the routine for what it is and go about life. As for my weekends, they admittedly look a bit more random, but in general they too are filled with patterned monotony.
That all said, this past year of monotonous routine has actually given me a newfound appreciation of little things. As we get older, it seems that there’s more and more space between the big things. Unlike childhood where there’s a big thing around every corner, big things in adulthood can take years or even decades to happen.
Because of this phenomenon, I am now convinced that adults in particular have to try to find meaning in the little things.
If you were to ask me what new things happened throughout the past year, my instinct would probably be to say nothing. I didn’t make many new relationships, I didn’t have any job changes, I didn’t have any changes in my living situation, I didn’t have any life altering moments, and on the surface everything appears to have been at a sort of status quo. What I’ve realized, however, is that there were actually a ton of little things that did change. Take my Saturday morning routine, for example. Saturday mornings have become a ritualistic time when I select a vinyl record to play while making hand crafted coffee. I then sit to enjoy my coffee while playing chess. Records, coffee, and chess are just three small examples of little things that have brought me immense joy over the past year. I don’t know why exactly they have brought me so much joy, but maybe that’s exactly the magic of the little things!
I used to define my life by the big things. If something big wasn’t happening, I wasn’t doing life right. Maybe I’m maturing in a positive way, or maybe I’m just prematurely becoming an an old man, but either way I’m thankful for the little things that continually shape the way I interact with my life and the world around me.