©2013 Nim Gholkar All Rights Reserved We often tend to measure happiness in terms of the big ticket items. And yet so often it is the little things in life that truly matter. Yes, a job promotion or a lotto win or meeting a soul mate are all hugely important and enriching experiences. But like I read somewhere recently, if we keep waiting for spectacular things to happen before we feel happy or cheerful, we are going to be dismal for long stretches of time indeed.
I recently had coffee with a lovely old lady I have been friends with for a long long time. She is well into her seventies and to all intents and purposes should really not have much in common with someone considerably younger than her like myself. But we get along like a house on fire. She makes me laugh and has the most interesting stories to tell. Little wonder considering the amazingly brave and fearless life she has led. She learned to drive at the age of 60….gave up her cushy job of twenty years at the age of forty to follow her heart and become an artist…and has always taken life with not just a pinch, but rather a bucket, of salt. Over all the years we have known each other, she has shared with me some wonderful gems about the art of living.
As we sat together the other day, teacher and disciple, chatting over steaming cups of chai latte, she regaled me with wonderful tales of her childhood and youth. I listened enthralled. An hour and two coffees each later, just before we parted and went our respective ways, she said a few things that changed how I looked at life. “We all wait for miracles before we let ourselves feel truly happy” she said to me. “But rebel that I am, I chose to go the opposite way and see if I couldn’t find happiness in the ordinary things of daily life”
“Tell me how….” I said to her.
And she did…..
Here is a list of things that make her happy….(and I was amazed at how ordinary were the moments she found happiness in :-))
~ Finding an empty car spot after driving around a crowded shopping mall parking for ages. ~ Receiving a phone call from a long-forgotten friend ~ Waking up thinking it’s Friday and another working day only to realize within seconds that it is Saturday and she can lie in bed for another hour. ~ Finding a twenty dollar note as she cleaned out an old handbag. ~ Standing at the end of a long queue at the supermarket only to find a new counter has been opened and she is now the first in line (this one is my personal favourite) ~ Leaving her car unlocked with the key still in ignition as she rushed somewhere, and coming back in a state of wild panic to find all is well and that her car wasn’t driven away by some schemer. ~ Waking up to the smell of coffee ~ Arriving home just seconds before a downpour of rain. ~ A nagging tooth ache that miraculously cures itself overnight. ~ Finding an old lost earring while vacuuming. ~ Library fines for overdue books that are waived by a benevolent librarian.
and many many more…….
I hugged my friend and realized with a shock how frail she has become….She is no longer as young as she used to be. But then I realized that in a way she will always remain young at heart. Because she knows how and where to find true happiness…..it is in those places where most of us would seldom think of finding it….in the ordinary happenings of daily life.