Have you ever had a bad day? Ha. So who hasn’t. Or maybe a bad week… a bad month… a bad year? Whatever the reason or timeline, it can be the small things that have the biggest impact in bringing your mind and your mood back to where it belongs.


On purpose of not?

In an effort to walk off a bad mood recently, I left the house mumbling to myself down one street and up the next. Suddenly something caught my eye in the road. Sitting right in the center of the weathered gray asphalt was this yellow sticker glittering in the sunlight. Right away my brain leaped into theater mode and I imagined a little girl — maybe four — sneaking into the street to place her favorite kitty sticker just so. I looked around at nearby houses, searching for a little nose pressed on the window as she waited for someone to pass by and notice.

What makes me smile isn’t the sticker as much as my fantasy about how it happened. Imagine her delight when someone finally stopped, bent down, touched it then smiled, and looked around at any windows close by. It could have just fallen out of her pocket as she played for all I know, but my fantasy better. Besides, it looked so intentional, like it was placed precisely in the middle of the street on purpose. Thank you Emma or Ava or Evelina. You flipped my mood around, and it was my first smile in days.

After a lifetime of experiences with jobs, houses, children, celebrations, vacations and interactions, I’ve discovered over and over that sometimes the smallest things have the biggest impact in my life. Or it was the things that were extremely ordinary: more time with those that I love, a hot bath at the end of a winter’s day, a smile at just the right time, a complement… the perfect pasta sauce!

On that day, it was a child’s sticker stuck to the asphalt. This might seem like a ridiculous subject for a blog post, but to me it’s a startling reminder about how simple is usually better. I’ve taken a stupid amount of time here describing a nanosecond of delight in one of my evenings, but isn’t that the point? The smallest thing makes a bigger difference than I ever imagined.

I’m married to a guy who spots everything in his path. Bill spent the first 20 years of his working life looking down, searching for property corners in the brush. As a surveyor he was trained to notice EVERYTHING and is always the one who spots doggie “landmines” first. Billy is my hero when it comes to directions and warnings about crawly-creature hazards ahead. I’m the people person so eyes are mostly trained forward, looking up at faces and searching for smiles. Ahem, I’ll be looking down more often from now on!

Weeded out this week: The habit of glossing over the small stuff as if it were trivia. It’s probably all those ordinary things that’ll bring me the most contentment.