August 12, 2011

The Small Pleasures of Life

This is just a list of those small things that happen in life that bring a smile to my heart, and I think at least a few of these might do the same for you. It's a list to remember we don't need much in life to be happy and to appreciate the little things... not take everything so seriously.

"Want nothing and you will have everything"
- Meher Baba

1. Rainy Evenings
I will even say, stormy is better. Listening to the rain outside and staying in with a good book or movie and a hot beverage makes a cozy evening.

2. The First Snowfall of the Year
It's simply magical to see snow fall for the first time over and over.

3. Sunsets
We see sunsets in pictures all the time, but when I see one in person it's easy to stare at it for a long time and see the colors change.

4. The Smell of Fresh Baked Cookies
Never gets old  to smell fresh baked cookies cooking in the oven, and this one is intensified for me because I'm a cookie monster.

5. Picking Your Own Berries
I've actually never done this one, but it is in my invisible to do list. I feel that it would be fun and rewarding and berries are awesome.

6. The Funny Things Kids Say
Children say the funniest things because of their honesty and naivety.

Mother: "Anna, its a child-proof cap, let me open it up for you."
Anna: "How does it know it’s me?!"

7. Singing loud in the car. 
This is fun with whoever: friends, boyfriend, husband, but for me it's when I'm driving by myself. That's when the singer in me really comes out, zero inhibitions, zero embarrassment, zero volume control.

8. Finding Authentic Mexican Food
This one comes from my Hispanic roots of course. I haven't been to my hometown, Mexico City in a while, and finding genuine Mexican food outside of Mexico is not an easy task. Just thinking about real enchiladas, sopes, tamales, chilaquiles, tacos al pastor, milanesa, tostadas, esquites... Mmmm my mouth waters. So whenever I do find it, my belly gets a really big smile. Of course the meal has to be paired with a cerveza Negra Modelo or Pacifico, or a nice refreshing horchata. Don't forget some churros con cajeta, or a slice of tres leches cake for dessert. Finally, I have to mention that even just buying fresh warm tortillas from a tortilleria, taking one of the tortillas while it's still warm, adding some salt and rolling it into a taquito, is so good. You would never know, but you should try it if you never have. 

9. Laughing to Tears
You know when you laugh so hard you cry a little? That's what I mean. 

10. Finding Fresh Flowers In Your Bedroom
My mom used to do this when I lived with her. With no reason, she would buy flowers and place them in a vase in my bedroom while I was out. It was never expected and would always make me happy.

11. Finding money in your pockets
They have to be bills, coins don't do it for me, but even if it's only a dollar you didn't know you had creates a happy moment.

12. Helping Others 
About 6 months ago, I started volunteering at a shelter distributing food and clothes and I must say it feels really good. It is a very rewarding experience and it let's you completely forget about yourself for a few hours.

13. Finding Your Soulmate
It's the greatest thing to be able to imagine and know that you're going to spend the rest of your life with the person you love. 

14. Noticing God's Work
It is easy to know that everything is God's will (although maybe not His wish), but when something so unexpected or bizarre happens and it happens so smoothly that you know it was God's work, is something amazing. It's hard to explain but some of you might know what I mean. 

15. Foot Rubs
I think everyone will agree on this one. I just feel in heaven whenever I get a foot rub.

16. Finding all the edges of a puzzle
... or finishing one. Puzzles are fun for all ages.

17. Oreos and Milk
Plain yumminess. (As I was writing that word, I knew it wasn't a word, but spell check didn't underline it. Apparently yumminess is a word.)

18. Warm popcorn and a movie at home
With your sweetie or with friends, it's always happy moments.


19. Being stuck in traffic when you need to get to your flight
Just kidding...

Appreciate all the small things in life, but really, we should all become desireless!

"Most of man’s suffering is self-created through his ungoverned desires and impossible demands. All this is unnecessary for selffulfillment. If man becomes desireless and contented, he will be free from his self-inflicted suffering. His imagination will not be constantly harassed by feverish reaching out toward things that really do not matter, and he will be established in unassailable peace. When an individual is thus contented, he does not require any solutions to problems, because the problems that confront worldly persons have disappeared. He has no problems, therefore he does not have to worry about their solution. For him the complexities of life do not exist because his life becomes utterly simple in the state of desirelessness."     Source: The Conditions of Happiness II, Discourses, Meher Baba

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