An Exercise In Slowing Down
A few weeks ago, I felt completely exhausted with the thought of almost everything ahead of me in a day. Even the smallest things like stopping by the grocery store on the way home felt like it would take the greatest effort. Recently in moments like this, where all I want to do is wrap myself in a blanket and be alone, I’ve been trying to turn it around instead of falling into a pessimistic trap. So, I grabbed a coffee (hence #1 on the list) and started brainstorming all of the good things to be happy about.
The day I had been dreading suddenly felt a bit more bearable. As I started on my walk to work, I started noticing all of these tiny things I would have rushed past before. I found myself adding a few items to the list throughout the day and by the end of the week, I was up to sixty-eight.
My list has grown into the hundreds by now. It’s an exercise I’ve tried to keep up — especially when I’m feeling like I have nothing to look forward to or lack inspiration. I urge you to try it for yourself next time you’re feeling down. But for now, you can read my first few list items to spark your imagination.
The Greatest Things In The World
1.The first sip of coffee early in the morning.
2. A shower so hot it warms your core.
3. A good, hard cry.
4. The muffled silence that comes with the first snow.
5. Waking up a few hours before your alarm (and getting to crash back to sleep).
6. The way hot rain smells on pavement.
7. Staring out the window at a coffee shop.
8. Hugs tight enough to support your collapse.
9. Crunching leaves with your boots on the sidewalk.
10. The drop in your stomach when a plane takes off.
11. The smell of clean sheets.
12. Buying something you’ve wanted for a long time.
13. Screaming old songs in the car by yourself.
14. Screaming new songs at a party, surrounded by hundreds.
15. Discovering a new part of a city, and deciding you’ll live there one day.
16. The laugh of a baby.
17. Skipping class for no reason at all.
18. Telling kids white lies to watch them believe anything.
19. The excitement of sneaking out.
20. A dress that fits exactly right.
21. The way warm sand feels in the arches of your feet.
22. Knowing all the words to your favorite song.
23. The smell of spring air coming through a sun roof.
24. Conversations that turn from fun to deep.
25. The feeling of floating that comes after a hot yoga class.
26. Slow songs on the radio during late night drives home.
27. Reading parts of books that are so good that there is no way of even explaining it.
28. The way passion tea swirls in hot water.
29. The way a room feels cozier in the glow of strung lights.
30. Driving slow after a really hard work out.
31. Making it to the gas station on empty.
32. The way rows of grass looks after being mowed.
33. Soybean leaves swaying in late August fields.
34. A new jar of peanut butter.
35. Laughing when you’re definitely not supposed to.
36. Finding a song that makes you run faster than light.
37. Smelling coffee grinds.
38. Shopping sprees when you definitely deserve it.
39. Waking up fully rested.
40. Fresh notebook paper.
41. When someone says something you can entirely relate to perfectly.
42. Slow kisses when you should be asleep instead.
43. Spider fingers on your back.
44. Getting a letter in the mail.
45. Finding the most beautiful quote among a normal paragraph.
46. Saying exactly what you want, exactly when you should.
47. Long runs when the sun sets.
48. The first drink at the beginning of the night.
49. Floating in a lake.
50. Drunk pizza.
51. When the whole house smells of coffee…or bacon.
52. Not wearing a bra.
53. Having exactly as many chip clips as open bags of chips.
54. Parallel parking perfectly on a busy street.
55. Lighting a candle and letting the energy fill the whole room.
56. Deleting every email in your inbox.
57. Letting someone tell you a secret.
58. The fullness after a huge Thanksgiving dinner.
59. When your parents say they’re proud of you.
60. Doing something for someone who greatly needs it.
62. When the sky turns lavender.
63. When you can hear complete silence.
64. Smelling breakfast from your bed.
65. Kayaking on a glassy lake.
66. Christmas morning.
67. Getting a bouquet of flowers.