Remembering to Appreciate the Little Things

Lately, I have been incredibly stressed out and overwhelmed.  It seems like no matter how hard I try, I just get farther behind.  I wonder if grad school is even worth it.  Do I really want this degree that much?  It seems like the best thing to do, but more and more often, I find that I really just don’t care.  I’m burned out, the joy is gone, and I just want to quit.

When I woke up this morning, the stress hit me full force.  I struggled out of bed while feeling sorry for myself.  I worked myself into a tizzy trying to get things done as quickly as possible.  I absentmindedly scarfed breakfast while I hastily graded papers.  I fought the rising sense of panic as I considered the things that should be done but aren’t.  I wished fervently it would all just go away.

However, on the way to school, my perspective began to shift.  The sunrise this morning was absolutely incredible, and while I usually leave it home, I was fortunate enough to have my camera with me.  Though the pictures are beautiful, they cannot begin to do justice to what I saw.  I was filled with wonder, and for the first time today, I stopped to take a deep breath and simply enjoy something.

I promptly forgot that cleansing breath and gorgeous sunrise when I got to the office and delved back into my pile of work.  Any sense of peace I had found moments earlier vanished as the stress flooded back.  But then, on my way to class, I found a dime.  I nearly missed it in my rush to get where I was going, but there it was, all covered with dirt, just waiting to be noticed.  Even worse than almost missing it, I very nearly ignored it since I had given myself just enough time to get to class.  Yet, I stopped, I bent to pick it up, and as I brushed it off, a smile slowly spread across my face.

You see, finding a dime is a big deal.  I have never quite lost the childhood wonder of finding coins, so my husband and I have a little jar just for coins that we find on the ground.  Someday, when it is filled, we will do something special with those little lost coins.  So, for me, finding a dime was hitting the jackpot.  In a day where people rarely carry change, we hardly ever even find pennies.  But today, in the middle of my stress fest, a dime was sitting right there just for me.  As I held the dime, I remembered the sunrise, and in that moment, I realized that I have been so caught up in my workload that I have forgotten to enjoy the little things in life.

In that moment, I determined to be more aware of the many little things each day that are worth noticing.  There is so much to appreciate, if only I will take the time to do so.  Since I made that decision, today has seemed unusually full of little things to appreciate, but I think it’s mostly the result of my shifted perspective.  The more I stop to notice, the more aware I become of things I usually dismiss.

This exercise in appreciation has been liberating.  I’m finding that though the to-do list remains, the stress is not nearly so oppressive.  I feel lighter, and smiles come more readily.  Gratitude is so good for the soul.

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4 Responses to Remembering to Appreciate the Little Things

  1. Mom says:

    Your comment about gratitude reminded me of Joni Ericson Tada, she said we should have an attitude of gratitude. Guess it was the little ryhme that has always helped me remember this. Wish I could have shared the sunrise God painted for yoy that morning, your pic is wonderful so I know the real thing had to be breath taking. I love you precious girl.

    • Bobbi says:

      Breath taking is an understatement. The sunrises the past couple days have been awe inspiring. …probably also an understatement. 😉 I love you, too.

  2. Sartenada says:

    If we want, we can find in every day something positive and beautiful for our life. Quilting is an excellent way to forget daily “sorrows” as sun shine which directly has great impact to our mind.

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