This has been the year of appreciating the simple things in life, hasn’t it? Or put another way, appreciating the things that actually matter.
Without being able go to out during our free time, we’ve slowed down. We’ve had time, more than enough time, to work out the things that we’re actually missing and the things that matter. And some priorities may well have shifted.
At least, this is how it feels for me.
I have found new interests, things that pick me up, relax me, keep me busy and most importantly, make me happy. And I have had the time to recognise and understand those things that keep me calm and sane. I’ll share a few of those little pick me ups with you, and perhaps you’ll have some of them in common with me, or you might be inspired or reminded to try one of them again.
The people that matter. Regular calls and texts with friends and family. Of course. I miss them and look forward to seeing them soon.
The people that matter in life are everything. I am very aware of the people that I have missed, the people I want to catch up with, the people that make up the fabric of our lives.
We’ve got used to connecting in different ways, and these connections brighten days.
My garden. Gardening has grown on me more and more over the years and last summer I added a mini greenhouse out there. I am a fair weather gardener, as I usually do a cutback around October/November time and then don’t venture out there until end of March and get back into it all again. That time is nearing, I am looking forward to it.
My house plants. I have shared this love with you before. This time last year I had a few plants dotted around, I now have dozens!
Tending to my plants is such a simple thing to do, but it feels so relaxing and nurturing somehow. It’s hard to explain it, but I’m hoping other plant geeks will know what I mean!
There is also real joy in choosing or receiving a new plant. Similarly, I love to propagate them myself and gift them to friends, that’s a lovely feeling.
Over the winter it’s been basic care for them weekly, but as we enter spring, I’ll be getting back to propagating them, repotting them and feeding them again.
Skincare and pampering. This is a new one for me. I mean, I’ve always dabbled but I’ve never really paid much attention to any of this or spent much time or effort on it. Until recently.
I can’t quite recall what sparked it. A magazine article, a blog, a social media remark maybe? Whatever it was, it sparked a realisation that maybe I needed to do something about my skin, such as, you know, actually care for it?!
So the skincare interest took hold. I have learned so much about it over the past few weeks and bought more products than I’ve bought in my lifetime!
As a good friend commented recently when I was telling her about it, once I take an interest in something, I am ALL in! I now know about AHAs, retinol, antioxidants, free radicals, BHAs, 10 step Korean skincare, double cleansing, snail mucin and more. All terms that meant nothing to me a couple of months ago, but it’s a new world that I am enjoying exploring and enjoying.
Lighting candles. This has long been a little treat. It’s a very rare evening in our home if there isn’t at least one candle burning.
On darker, gloomier days I also find myself lighting a candle, a ray of sunshine cutting through the grey. The smell is always lovely and the flickering light feels cosy and indulgent somehow.
Walking Herbie. Herbie makes me get out every single day, whether I feel like it or not. And on the days when I haven’t felt like it, I have felt better for it once I am out and about.
Herbie deserves a mention, aside from the walks, though. He is company when the kids went back to school after weeks and weeks of me never being alone. He makes me smile daily and cuddling up with him can’t fail to lift my mood.
Playing music. This just works whatever the mood. Sometimes it’s background music as I work, sometimes it’s upbeat as I get housework done, and for an instant mood lift I’ll go for something I can sing to. Loudly.
And of course, papery hobbies remain my constant. Sending out some happy mail, journaling or snuggling up with my book are always going to be important to me. Reading remains my number one me-time treat, just as it did when I was 10 and I’m sure it will be when I am 80.
Finding joy in these little things has made a difference to me every day. Some days are easier than others, I’m sure we’ve all had tough ones and good ones. But I find that one of these things will always help me, to some degree, and keep me on an even keel.
The little things really are the big things, aren’t they?
What are your little pick me ups?