How often do we celebrate the little things?
We take so much for granted. Yes, as cliché as it sounds, we only realise the value of something when it’s gone (or, well, has to go).
Now suppose a patient was having his kidney removed, he’d miss it. The patient would cry, and he’d miss it, and he’d go on living with one kidney, but, yes; he’d miss it. It won’t make a difference (at least, he won’t outwardly realise it), and he’ll miss it. Like a friend he never knew he had. Now that it has to go, he can’t stop thinking about it. And, therefore, all the patient can think of is the kidney. The one he never had to think about.
I hope that doesn’t sound dramatic, suggesting you start thinking about your kidneys and your liver and every artery, vein, and nerve, no. You could, if you wanted to, but it’s simply not practical (ah, good ol’ first year medical school; great times). But I’m just saying that a large portion of the world remains unnoticed to us; honestly, we are literally blind to a part of the world (the blind spot: something I appreciated in a visual field testing I had in med school for an experiment, when, at a certain point, the object actually vanishes right in front of you, it’s bloody amazing, it is). But the parts of this world that we are privy to, shouldn’t they mean something, be cherished?
Personally, I used to love milestones. When my family and I went on trips, I often used to count every milestone till I got there. (Currently I resort to reading books or listening to music, but I still have some landmarks I enjoy watching, that I wait for when I travel past it.)
One must take time to appreciate the baby steps, because like the quote, “Little by little, one travels far.” It doesn’t do to forget the alphabets when you graduate to books. Little things.
To me, every incident was/is important to me, no matter how trivial it seemed to anybody else. My first phone, the time I got my stitches removed, the day I started the blog… every thing was logged, recorded, filed away for later. I do an anniversary for every incident. It might be as simple as a few moments of silence and introspection, or going all the way with dinner and whatever is appropriate for that incident.
As a new blogger (I don’t know, when do you stop calling yourself that?) I noticed, in the notification section, that WordPress notifies you when you get five likes, and then ten (I haven’t gone any further than that, so I don’t know what the next number is), and also when you have reached a certain number of followers, with a badge like icon, marking that event. (Let me take this opportunity to welcome, and thank, my first few followers on WordPress. I sincerely hope you enjoy my posts, and you find something to take away from it.) I thought it was particularly thoughtful. Why, WordPress got it right.
In fact, that’s the reason behind my writing this post.
As a child, I was a busy person (arguably still am, but I moved much faster then). Every second of my day was accounted for – extra curricular activities, president of my student club, academics, teaching, I didn’t have time to be tired. I wasn’t allowed to be tired, I didn’t believe in it. And I certainly couldn’t care less what anybody had to say. When I think back now, I realise how much I missed in the process. How quickly I had dismissed things, how much I didn’t care for the ‘little things’. I feel for the time I didn’t spend with my wonderful grandmother. There are so many things I would ask her now, but can’t. I regret not having enjoyed my activities more, as I focused on the prize, on getting ahead. I regret not having learnt, as I pursued good grades. Mostly, I regret not having noticed the little things pass me by.
As obvious as all this might seem, we all need reminders; I can vouch for how painful it is, when you realise you don’t get to enjoy the same privileges anymore. The loss is… profound. It consumes you. The little things can destroy you. The little things, then, are not that little.
So enjoy it while it lasts, then?
Life can be cruel, but no, it doesn’t have to be that morose. Let’s take some time, be more aware. People wait until they are dying to finally live. “Oh, I’m going to die soon? Let me do the thing I’ve always wanted to do.” “Let me go scuba diving.” “Let me quit my job, and take up art like I truly wanted to.” “Let me forgive.” They begin to make every second count. But, why wait?
Is it too much to spare a moment to be thankful for all that you have, and all the distance you’ve travelled, for all the wonderful things?
And is it too much to find meaning in the little things? (It shouldn’t be.)
How often do we celebrate the little things? Not often enough.