Sweet Nothings

Little Things

Deep-Fried-Twinkies food stand on a boardwalk in Santa Cruz, CA

It’s amazing how little things can accumulate and either wear you down or lift you up. I know so many people who say, “It’s the little things that make life worth living,” yet I know far more people who let a lot of little, pesky things pile up and dampen their spirits. Unfortunately, I must admit to falling prey to this kind of pessimism last week. The week was an exhausting tangle of too much to do, too little time, and way too many exotic animals sneaking into my house uninvited; to top this all off, my puppy was terribly sick and I was up working until 2 a.m. every night. Granted, life can easily get you down when you’re sleep-deprived and literally up to your elbows in dog shit, but all the stuff that bummed me out last week (including the fecal matter) was pretty insignificant in the scheme of things. So, how is it possible that a relatively intelligent person blows up teensy mole hills into giant omens of doom and gloom for all eternity?

I think the answer is simple: when we forget to balance out all our negative thoughts with positive observations about our lives, we quickly lose perspective and our bad moods snowball. This means that when we’re scrubbing shit off the floor we need to put a little of this elbow grease into scouring our lives for happy things. Some weeks the happy bits can be damn hard to find, but I promise they’re there. For example, last week I should have spent more time thinking about the adorable picture of a deep-fried-Twinkie stand my boyfriend sent from his road trip, I should have celebrated the 64 new readers who found my blog, and I should have basked a bit longer in the joy of making my pup a hot-dog treasure hunt once he was finally feeling better. I also should have sat down and made a list of positive things in my life – I know this sounds corny, but when you put pen to paper it is a lot easier to pay attention to all the happy things that tend to escape your notice.

Another happy thing from my week was this yellow bird I spotted in a store display. I love that someone thought to contrast the bird’s matte paint job with a shiny, white Christmas garland, and just knowing someone exists who’s capable of coming up with neat ideas like this makes me happy…

Matte, yellow-painted wooden bird on a banister at Kendra Scott in Austin, TX

Yet another thing that should have been making me happy last week was this banner advertising “Live Nude Fish.” I found it along a stretch of highway that’s dominated by strip clubs, and I couldn’t help smiling at the fact that this aquarium seller has such a sense of humor about themselves and their lascivious location…

Ingenious banner advertising Amazonia Aquariums in Austin, TX

In case you haven’t noticed, all the subjects of my happy pictures today are yellow. I figured maybe – just maybe – they’d remind you of a “Have a Nice Day” smiley face and that this might cause a ripple effect…Is it? What little things are already getting your week off to a good start?

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  • Reply Pat Oey December 8, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    I love this blog, and I intend to try one of those deep-fried twinkies next summer! 🙂

  • Reply J. R. Coté December 8, 2010 at 6:18 pm

    Thank you so much for the love! I can’t wait to get my hands on a deep-fried Twinkie either.

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