I love Thanksgiving. I love spending time with my family, and I love eating too much food for my own good. I also love sleeping off the food and eating leftovers for several days afterward.
But as many of my friends and family expressed gratitude for the things they enjoyed this year, I realized that we tend to emphasize the big things in life. Family. Friends. Food. Work. Home.
These big things are wonderful, and they deserve our gratitude. But at the same time, their constant size and weight makes them easy to remember. They fill a huge part of our lives, and their absence would be noticeable.
However, I realized little things need our appreciation, too. Though we can often live without little things, life might not seem as cozy, as comfortable, or as convenient without them.
Here are some of the little things in my life that I can’t ignore.
1. Autumn Leaves
Spring brings allergies. Summer brings heat. And winter brings snow. And though I can look a little harder for their other good features, these seasons don’t bring me nearly as much joy as Autumn does every year.
When those leaves transform into their glorious riot of red, orange, and yellow, I transform into a little kid again and go stomping, crashing, and swooping through the leaf piles.
2. Macro Lens
I love photography. I love snapping photos with my phone and using the editing apps to alter contrast and saturation levels.
One day I’d love to explore photography more fully and use all sorts of nifty tools and gadgets. But for now, I only have a few tiny lenses that attach to my phone’s case: a wide angle lens, a fish eye lens, and a macro lens. I still don’t know how to use the first two properly, but I love the macro lens.
The macro lens has taught me that nothing is too small or too tiny to be artful. When I zoom in on a coin, a leaf, or a pencil tip, I can see all sorts of colors and textures that I’d never notice with my usual camera.
3. My Toothbrush
When I was a teenager, I hated my teeth. I hated the way my two front incisors overlapped each other, and their sheer size attracted a lot of attention. I also hated the way my other teeth jutted out, and they may brushing and flossing difficult.
But after braces, I’ve fallen in love with my smile. I know I’m a bit vain about it, but I love flashing my teeth whenever I laugh or grin for the camera. And I know that if I want to keep enjoying my smile, I need to keep brushing my teeth. So thanks, little toothbrush. Thanks for keeping my teeth healthy.
4. Loose Change
Since I was little, I have been a firm believer in lucky pennies. Whenever I saw Abraham Lincoln smiling up at me from a parking lot, I knew that the rest of the day was going to be good.
Loose coins and change can often seem like an inconvenience, too. They jingle around in my purse, and they tend to take up more space than any decent currency should. But when I don’t have any change, I often need those few extra coins to cover candy at the gas station or to pay for a ticket at a bus stop.
5. Sticky Notes
Sticky notes come in handy for almost everything. If I need to clean the spaces between the keys on my keyboard, I use a sticky. If need to prioritize my to-list for the day, I use a sticky. And if I want to leave a love note for my husband, I use a sticky.
Sticky notes also work well for doodles in between blog posts, and their perfect square shape serves as a great base for tiny origami projects. They also serve as excellent reminders for any late fees or overdue books. I could go on and on about the usefulness of sticky notes, but I’ll leave it here for now.
I’m a sentimental person. I love to hold onto small things that represent fond memories. As a result, my bookshelf holds a lot more than books; it also holds countless knickknacks from my childhood.
Some of my favorite knickknacks have been on my shelf so long that I’ve practically forgotten what memory they represent, but still I keep them because they feel special, almost magical, to me.
7. My Stylus
If you followed my blog from its beginning, then you probably saw some of my worst doodles. I had a Kindle with some basic drawing apps, but the screen only allowed me to use my fingers to draw. Eventually I picked up a mesh stylus that mimicked my fingers, but it was a clumsy way to illustrate my ideas.
In the last few months, however, I traded my Kindle for a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1. It’s not nearly as fancy as Chris’ iPad Pro and Pencil, but it still comes with a reliable stylus that lets me draw with a little more precision. I have a long way to go before I could call myself an artist, but I look forward to developing my skills with what I have now.
8. Soft Tissues
I am a sniffly person. I don’t know whether I have allergies or simply an overactive nose, but I go through lots of tissues every day.
Of course, tissue quality varies depending by brand and purpose. Those hard, scratchy, thin-ply tissues irritate my nose and rub the skin until it turns an angry red.
But those lusciously soft tissues with lotion keep my nose feeling comfortable no matter how many times I have to blow my nose.
Ever since I made the switch from working in an office to working at home, I haven’t spent a lot of time outdoors. In fact, I only bother to put on pants most mornings so I can let my dog out to do his business.
Consequently, I don’t see a lot of sunlight, and I often have to squint for ages before my eyes adjust. Sunglasses save me the pain of adjusting while making me feel somewhat like a movie star. Move over Audrey Hepburn, you can’t beat my clip-on shades.
Well…actually she can, but you know what I mean.
10. My Wedding Ring
In less than a month, I’ll have been married to my husband Chris for four years. And it’s been an awesome four years at that!
But even several years later, I still admire my lovely wedding ring, Nenya. Chris picked this ring out because he knew how much I loved Lord of the Rings. And now whenever I see anything Lord of the Rings-related, I think about how much I love my adorable sweetie.
I’m so grateful to have him in my life, and I can’t imagine life without him.
What Are You Grateful for?
Whew! That’s quite the list of small things to feel grateful for. Do you have any fun things you’d like to add to my list? Feel free to share your favorite things in the comments below!
As always, I’m grateful for your participation, and I’m grateful you made it through such a lengthy post!