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Not Satisfied With Where You Are? It's Time to Stop and Appreciate the Little Things


I worked so hard to get to where I am today. I put in thousands of hours, many of them all-nighters. I hustled, fretted, and kept moving forward when it seemed to make more sense to quit. Living on shots of coffee and meals eaten standing up or while working at my desk, shoving in a dose of fun in the intermittent spaces, caring for my family, and carrying on through moves, transitions, heartbreaks, family upheavals, and deaths in the family. I was just doing my thing when, all of a sudden, it hit me.

I have arrived. 

Most of those circumstances that caused me to say “When …” had been dealt with. For instance, When the kids are all grown, I can … or When my business can continue functioning without me there all of the time, I will … or  When this relationship is in a better place, I might …

My kids are all thriving as young adults. One of them has even started a family. My business has grown and now allows me a lot of freedom to travel and do things I have always longed to do. I am no longer in an unhealthy relationship. I still have work to do but I’m getting stronger and more grounded and self-aware. I’m not falling into any toxic patterns. And you know what? I feel content living on my own. 

So why don’t I feel more settled? 

I mean after all of these years of striving and seeking and searching, it seems like I should live with a deep sense of peace and accomplishment. After “arriving” I should feel different, right? Instead, I often have a dull ache in my gut that makes me ask myself, “Why can’t I just relax and be happy now that I’m finally in this place I’ve always wanted to be?”

Then, a little reminder happened. It’s funny how God uses small and seemingly unimportant things to teach us lessons we’ve been missing.

My daughter and her family visited over Thanksgiving. My three-year-old grandson, Axel, was standing on the stepstool helping me prepare breakfast. I was showing him how to crack eggs in the pan and he was doing a great job of “helping.” 

Suddenly he squeezed his fists together and squealed, “Nonna, I soooo happy! I just soooo happy!”

I cannot tell you how my heart flooded with gratitude. The love and joy poured out of my soul and I felt like I was transported to heaven. 

After that moment, I made sure I was 100% present and available for my kids and grandson that weekend. I captured those little moments of joy, the glimmers of goodness, and later, reflected on those treasures now buried deep in my heart.

In the mundane day-to-day, it’s the humble things that are actually what is important. 

It’s a cup of coffee with a pal.

Or my daily walk with my Dad.

Or making breakfast with Axel on a Friday morning. 

The truth is there isn’t some big moment in the future when I will feel like I am complete or some destination in my destiny where I will feel like I have arrived (this side of heaven). Instead, I need to recognize the power of a hug, the happiness in reuniting with a friend, the pleasure in a glass of wine with dinner, and the satisfaction of painting in a community. 

These brief meetings are what make up our lives. Like pearls on a string, we slip these little moments together. We just need reminding to pull out our “pearls” and enjoy them! 

So, are you ready for a string of good memories? A good time with friends? 

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