Enjoy the simplicity of daily life Print
Youth Column
Written by Erick Rommel, Catholic News Service   
Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014 -- 12:00 AM

Quick. Think about the last enjoyable moment you experienced. What was the first thing that popped into your mind? Was it a large event, a vacation or a special meal? Or was it a small moment -- a quick gaze with someone you care about?

Can you think of another example? If you thought of a large family event, can you think of a simple instance of joy?

Some advise others not to overlook the small stuff, and others say you need something to look forward to in the future. I say you need both.

Everyone should be able to look ahead in anticipation of something fun and exciting. It could be a weekend activity, a dream vacation. It could even be a well-deserved night out with friends. That feeling of excitement, when you can't wait for what comes next is energizing. It gives you focus as you work through the tasks that stand in your way before that moment of excitement arrives.

Countless little moments lead to big moments. Small jokes and quick laughs don't last long. But these tiny joys are steppingstones. We hop from little joy to little joy, marking progress toward our larger goals with each leap.

What if we switched priorities? What if we quivered with excitement anticipating those small instances, knowing they lead to much more?

How much better would life be if our friendships became closer through quick conversations that led to great discoveries? What if small unexpected joys became expected milestones too numerous to count? What if the small, overlooked steppingstone became the measurement of our happiness and joy?

One thing is for certain, anticipation of large events would no longer overshadow the defining moments that make us who we are.

We can choose not to overlook small events. We can anticipate them and even create them by setting simple goals.

When you're with someone, don't just talk to them, talk with them. Whether it's a boyfriend or girlfriend, a best friend, a casual acquaintance, or someone you don't like, in that moment make them your world. Be open and honest and share freely.

If you are confronted by an obstacle and can resolve the issue, do so immediately. Don't let small bumps in the road disrupt your happiness when a quick solution will smooth your path for miles to come.

At the same time, ask for help from others when the obstacles you face are too large to overcome. Don't bottle your emotions. Even if the person you speak with can't provide assistance, sharing your difficulties may be all that's necessary to discover clarity and a solution.

Finally, don't be afraid of the intangible. It's easy to set a goal for a better job or a second date or a trip to Disney. It's more difficult to clear time for the happiness that you get when you play with your dog or go for a jog or look at the clouds on a warm, sunny day. It's often the actions that have no material value that are the most priceless.

When you get to a point where every moment is once again an exciting adventure, you'll discover that feeling of anticipation that comes from looking ahead. It will energize and inspire you every day.

When every moment is special, it's easier to make every moment count.

Erick Rommel is head staff writer for The Catholic Spirit in the Diocese of Metuchen, N.J. His column is syndicated through Catholic News Service.


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