Happy Little Things

2020 has been a heavy year. Honestly, it felt that way before the Rona took us all hostage. I’m fighting that. In that vein, I like to remind myself of “little happy things.”

Oatmeal. It’s the best comfort food. It’s hot. It’s creamy. It’s versatile. Oh, and it helped bring my strangely high cholesterol down last fall! (family heart disease history) It is not uncommon to find a packet of instant oatmeal at my desk. I’d like to say that I do all the overnight oat stuff, but that would be blowing smoke… I don’t prep well.

Music. I dressed this morning to 90’s hits. I have uplifting, contemporary Christian on at my desk. I sang and played piano with my sisters this weekend. I run to music of all genres with a good beat, but sometimes questionable lyrics. Music has the power to set moods, change moods, set a pace, and uplift!

Walks. Yesterday, I texted a friend spontaneously to ask if she wanted to take a 20 minute walk over lunch. She did! This may not seem like a huge deal, but stepping away from work and everything else to move and chat with a friend was probably the high point of my day. Movement feels good. Fresh air feels great. Time with a friend is priceless!

Basically, all my “little happy things” were free or cheap. Instead of focusing on how certain points of my day were dumpster fires, turning my attention to these “little happy things” flipped that narrative.

Isn’t that what this year is teaching us to do? We don’t have to focus on all the big things taken away. Instead, I encourage you to look for all the little rays of sunshine. For me, sometimes it’s a simple as “hey, that phone call sucked… think I’ll go for a quick walk or maybe a mug of oatmeal.” I know, not eloquent… but very real.

What are your little happy things? Maybe you have a dozen or perhaps you are striving for one. I’ve been in both places. Today, take a moment to jot down one or two and keep it somewhere. Save it. In the words of the California Raisins, you’ll have “sunshine on a cloudy day.”

Perspective · Uncategorized

Spring in the Midwest – USA

If you follow my blog, you’ll have gathered previously that I live in a “fly-over” state. Miles of cropland, small towns, and tall concrete grain elevators dot the landscape. Rolling gradual hills and small creeks, gravel and dirt roads, and limestone fences posts are the view.

We are on a rollercoaster this spring. Depths of winter to the heights of spring, then back down to winter, then back up to spring.

Today, I have the office door open. It’s beautiful and sunny out. Our high is forecasted as 89 degrees F. I can hear birds. The air smells fresh. Our Bradford pear tree is trying to bloom.

When winter comes in again tomorrow night, it will feel like a villain with icy teeth and a cackling windy laugh. It will shrivel the spring plants that have just emerged. Children and parents at the soccer fields Saturday morning will hide in their cars between games. Teeth chattering, they’ll brave the cold to cheer and play. We’ll do the same on Sunday afternoon for our baseball scrimmage.

tempThis is our week’s forecast April 12-18.

Without the lows, I wouldn’t appreciate the highs. Right?


I’ll just keep telling myself that.

Summer will come eventually and sweltering heat will settle on us. We’ll all be wishing for the crispness of cooler weather.

And so keep riding the rollercoaster of seasons in the Midwest.