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Learning to Appreciate the Small Things

How valuing your day-to-day experiences can make life more meaningful

Espresso
Photography by Carl MH Barenbrug

In life, we are often sold the idea that the things that are most worthwhile having or doing, are also the most expensive things. The best way to spend a day is a holiday by the clear blue sea in the Caribbean. The most meaningful object you can own, the object that you cherish so much that you ‘merely look after it for the next generation’, is a $20k watch. The clothes you ought to desire most are those endorsed by the most extravagant fashion magazines and the most attractive celebrities.

Whilst many are beginning to see through this idea, I still do not believe that enough appreciation is given to the smallest aspects of day-to-day life. Things that are not adventurous or unique are viewed as being not valuable or important. It is beyond comprehension that you might have had just as stimulating and enjoyable a day reading a book in the garden as a friend had on their travels abroad.

But to only appreciate grand trips and material objects is to miss so much of what we go through on a daily basis. By slowing down and appreciating how you feel in a moment, daily life can feel so much more meaningful. It is possible to be going on a quiet walk around your local neighborhood and feel just as happy and at peace with your life as you would wandering the streets of a new and exciting city.

All this is not to say that these larger trips in life are also not important. I do truly believe that traveling and experiencing new things is vital for appreciating everything that the world has to offer. But, if one is busy or lacks the funds to do such things, it is perfectly possible to enrich yourself by simply appreciating what is already to hand, looking at the things you already own and valuing them.

If you feel something is missing in your day-to-day experiences, it may be worth reflecting inwardly on what you truly already have within your grasp, rather than looking outwardly at what other people have.

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