Gratitude, Happiness
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19 Small Things I’ve Grown A Wild Appreciation For

‘Enjoy the small things because one day you’ll look back and realize they were big things.’ I remember reading that quote when I was young. I didn’t quite have a grasp on what the ‘small things’ were or why they mattered, but as I’ve grown up, I’ve realized that these little moments are perhaps the most important of all. When we look back, sure, we remember the big moments—our first love, prom, wedding. But it’s all the small things we carry with us—the night he kissed us to sleep, the mornings our mother packed us a school lunch, the silly jokes we shared with our friends.

Yes, the big things do matter and will always matter. But sometimes it’s the small things that we grow a wild appreciation for. These things make us truly feel alive.

1. Cell phones.
The ability to pick one up, and in seconds, be connected to someone else across the country, even across the world. The ringing dial tone and anticipation before I hear the man I love’s voice on the other line and how that fills my chest with warmth, every single time. The way I feel so close to the people who are really far away, and how strange and beautiful is it that time and distance no longer bear weight?! That I can fall asleep to someone’s voice on the receiver. That I can ring in a quick moment find safety. That no matter where I am, I am never really alone.

2. Dogs with good breath.

3. The way my boyfriend says “I love you,” when he rolls over, half-asleep.

4. The first sips of ice water.

5. Non-humid afternoons.
When the sun dips just behind the clouds and the air is still warm, but soft, not heavy.

6. Men that value me, my heart, and my friendship.
And ones that I can genuinely speak to, lean on, and confide in when I need someone who understands me, or to give me a male, unbiased, honest, heart-in-the-right-place perspective.

7. White wine.
And the bitterness it leaves on your tongue with the first sips.

8. Nailbeds that are no longer bitten down.

9. Raindrops in Southern California.
Because the soft pitter-patter on my skin is so greatly missed.

10. My hair, slowly gaining its curl.

11. The sound of my sister’s laughter.

12. The sounds of the city.
That no matter where I am, will always remind me of home.

13. People that understand my overthinking.
And both encourage me to let go, but also understand this intensity of care and emotion has been, and always will be wired into my veins.

14. Sunsets.
Over mountains, or on highways facing the beach, where I’m reminded, again and again, that this is my life. That I am here. That I am so damn blessed. That sometimes beautiful moments cannot be captured, or put into words, but felt.

15. Outdoor fairy lights.
Because they just bring such an unconscious warmth.

16. When my boyfriend’s son says, “I love you.”
And how those words so mirror his father’s that my heart physically aches.

17. My adventurous nature when it comes to food.

18. The fact that after twenty-five years, I have finally learned to love the process of loving myself.
And my understanding that no matter how much I grow and change, this acceptance will always be a process. And I will always be shifting. And that my body, even in its imperfection, is beautiful.

19. Being in a new place, and yet, feeling right at home.

Featured Image Credit: Artem Bali

This entry was posted in: Gratitude, Happiness


Marisa Donnelly, M.Ed., is a writer/editor, credentialed teacher, proud bonus mama, and CEO of Be A Light Collective, a coaching and content creation business and digital marketplace. She is the Director of Donnelly’s Daily Apple, a flexible learning/tutoring and educational resource platform, and the lead voice for Momish Moments and Step by Step Parents, verticals dedicated to sharing and advocating for non-traditional parenting journeys. Marisa currently resides in San Diego, California, with her fiancé, kiddo, and their two rambunctious Pitbulls. ❤️

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