Finding Joy in Small Things

Since my last post was rather depressing, I thought I’d lighten the mood up a bit by sharing how I find joy in the small things. Sometimes, joy takes works. There are obvious things that bring me joy, such as playing with my kids, watching them play sports, drinking a nice tasty stout with friends, and traveling.

Here’s a list of things that bring me joy that are small, but add up to brighten my day.

  1. A made bed: many people make their bed for when they end their day and crawl between the sheets. That’s nice, but it isn’t why I make my bed. I make my bed for the times I pop in and out of my bedroom. When my bed is messy, there’s no bonus to my day. I walk into my room and the tossed blankets and pillows add to chaotic feelings. But when I walk into the room and the bed is made, a peaceful calm sweeps over me.
  2. A clean kitchen: I’m not a morning person. I’m grumpy and tired when I wake up. It usually takes me a while before I’m ready to accept that I’ve got things to do. If the first thing I see when I walk into the kitchen is a sink full of dishes, my day starts off on the wrong note. I feel behind schedule. I like things clean and orderly. If the first thing I see when I start the day is dirty dishes, then I’m off on the wrong foot. When I walk into a clean kitchen in the morning, I feel as though the day is waiting for me. In order for this to happen, the last room I visit before I go to bed is the kitchen. I put away any remaining items and place dishes in the dishwasher.
  3. Flowers: My home is dark. The walls have darker paint and there are many antiques scattered throughout the house. Adding colorful flowers to a room brightens it up, which also brightens my mood. The flowers don’t have to be expensive. Even carnations can work.
  4. Laying on the carpet: At some point every day, I lay on the carpet and stretch. I’m not doing yoga or exercising, I’m just laying there. Sometimes I close my eyes and stretch my back. Sometimes I rotate my hips. For a few minutes, I’m still and relaxing. I find this simple 10 minute act refreshing.
  5. Walking to get coffee: I don’t do this often because I’m watching my finances. There are times, though, that I need to get out of the house. When that need hits, I go for a cup of coffee and I take the long way home. The simple jaunt around the neighborhood resets my mind and the little exercise and fresh air feels good.
  6. Take photos: I love taking photos. Doesn’t matter if I’m using my camera or my iPhone. Sometimes, I grab my camera and walk around the neighborhood, seeing if I can snag a pic of something good. I look for churches, birds, and bridges. Taking photos is a feeling that can be revisited once home. At home, I look at the photos and edit them. There is catharsis in the whole process.
  7. Organizing: I enjoy an organized home. It’s frustrating to go to a closet, cabinet, or shelf to look for something and not be able to find it. Lately, I’ve been decluttering and organizing. I might sound weird, but I find SO much joy in opening up a cabinet and find right away what I’m looking for. There is peace in an organized home.
  8. Books: I love books. I love to read. I love to shop for books. I love to walk into a used bookstore and smell the musty old books. My home is filled with books. Every room in my house has old books on display. When I see a book that I love, I’m reminded of the feelings I had when I read it. If there are books that I especially loved, they have a prominent space at eye level.
  9. Donating to a friend’s cause: I don’t have a lot of money, but when I see a friend that is raising money for a cause, I give a little. I can’t give in abundance, but every bit is appreciated. It also makes me feel happy to help a friend.
  10. Listening to comedy podcasts: Laughter is a cure for a humdrum day. I listen to comedy podcasts when I work out, run, clean, or fly through my emails. It’s always nice when a joke hits. Some of my favorite funny podcasts are Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend, Working it Out with Mike Birbiglia, Smartless, Fly on the Wall with David Spade and Dana Carvey, WTF Podcast, You Made It Weird with Pete Holmes, and How Did This Get Made.
  11. My coffee mugs: My coffee mugs are not just vessels to bring coffee into my mouth. They’re statements. They’re gifts. They are items that make me feel good when I look at them. Everyone should have a favorite mug.
  12. A favorite pen: How do you feel when you have to sign a form and fill something out and you rummage around looking for any old pen? There’s no feeling. There might even be frustration. If you have a go-to pen readily available, it makes filling something out a breeze. I keep my favorite pen on my desk. Actually, I have 3 favorite pens on my desk. They’re hidden away, so my kids don’t use them and leave them somewhere to get lost.
  13. Hot baths: My bath game is strong. I toss in Epsom salt, bubbles, light a candle, and open a beer. Then, I either crack open a book or watch TV on my phone. My body has taken some abuse over the years and my bones and muscles ache all day. While soaking in the tub, my body relaxes and stress eases up.
  14. Retail Therapy: Retail therapy is for real. And it can be done on a budget. I collect t-shirts, so I’m always on the hunt for a good shirt. Also, hitting up thrift stores for finds is fun. The thing is, I don’t actually have to buy something for my moment of joy. By simply perusing through a line of clothes or walking into a store to get an idea of what I want next brings a bit of excitement.
  15. Listening to Music: Specifically, music from my youngster days. I grew up in the 80s and 90s and when I put on my 90s playlist; I sing along and occasionally, to the embarrassment of my kids, dance. Listening to new music is nice, but it doesn’t bring the joy that listening to older music brings.

Those are 15 of my ways that I find joy in small things. What are some ways you find joy in everyday moments?


  1. Be interesting to see how many people will read the list, identify to some, and then add their own items. One particularly difficult year, I added one new item each day; somedays I had to think hard 🙂 and it was always good to go back and read through my list.

    1. I like the idea of making yourself find things to be grateful for. Some days it’s easy, and other days a good search is needed. I’m hoping others add to see what brings them joy, that way, I can add it to my own list.

  2. Pets. I don’t think i could have endured the last couple of years without my pets and the friends I have made because of them. I know that I would not have made it through law school without them.

  3. Several of your comments made me smile because I too find joy in doing them. As I get older though I find joy in thinking about fond memories. Some from long ago and some as recent as last week. Also a country ride will always bring joy.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: