The Importance Of Appreciating The Little Things

Amanda Pena
Amanda Pena is one of those bridge and tunnel people that frequents the city for her job and the Chipotle on every other block. She hopes to be the next Cheryl Strayed and touch people's lives through her writing and/or find the best prosciutto deli in Manhattan.

There is no such heartbreak comparable to forgetting that you’re on your last bar of soap and having it just melt into smithereens while in your hands. I kept meaning to pick up soap from the grocery store after work, yet two days had passed and I still hadn’t showered (I can feel your judgment. Look! I work a full-time job and think Property Brothers is more important). BUT, when I finally did buy that shiny and slippery beacon of hygiene-hope called Dove, that shower was probably the best shower I had taken in my entire life.

Though surprisingly, I didn’t shower in a tub with gold flakes perched atop the water and bubbles made out of Chanel bath gel. Instead, I was bathing in my regular standing shower with its leaky nozzle, scorching hot water, and limited space. Never had I been so thankful to just take a shower with a bar of soap. It was my own personal nirvana that I had discovered within my home – a home that I explore every day. Though, that was just it. I did this every day. Why had I not appreciated a shower to cleanse myself of the day’s impurities before?

Pablo Neruda once said, “Life is boring, except for flowers, sunshine…a glass of cold water when you are really thirsty. The way bodies fit together….Coffee in the morning…These are just moments…”

In life, we are taught that miracles and grand moments are what make for a full-bodied life. And if those huge, momentous, and flashy moments aren’t currently happening, we feel as if we’re missing out. But, maybe it’s those in-between moments that we take for granted that fulfill all of those times when we’re waiting for a shooting star to pass by?

My parents divorced a few years ago. We lived in a beautiful house with a breathtaking dining room view of the river that flowed through our backyard and was surrounded by beautiful greenery. My mom and dad bickered, but one of the few times when they were both just silent and pretty happy to be in each other’s company was on Sunday morning when they’d have their coffee, sit in that room and actually communicate. Amongst the absurdity and craziness of their lives and their marriage, they had that one moment. Amongst the absurdity and craziness of our own lives, we have those little instances that remind us of the beautiful life that is.

“Lifetimes are lost in unnoticed moments”, said Bryant McGill. It is the initial appreciation of those small moments that lessen the disappointment we naturally feel when waiting for that big moment to arrive.

Remember when you finally reached your goal of making the team, become the lead on a project at work, or having that girl become your girlfriend? What did it take to get there? A journey. A journey of slip-ups, failures, upheaval, and then triumph. I can guarantee you that in every moment of that journey, struggle or not, you can point out a small moment that originally went unnoticed, but meant everything to achieving that goal. Don’t let them go unnoticed. Don’t get lost in the grandiosity of life. It’s so much smaller and more beautiful than you think.


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