"Enjoy the little things in life" has always been a common saying. People are always telling you to appreciate the little things, things you don't normally think about and might take for granted. I find myself thinking about this from time to time, but for some reason, the true meaning behind the words didn't really hit me until recently.
And what made me realize the truth behind these words? My one-year-old nephew, Rowan.
We were having a family barbecue at my father's house that night, and just watching how happy Rowan was about even the simplest things made me happy. He was able to climb on and off of the bumper of my John Deere Gator. Every time he did it, he would smile and clap, making sure that everyone saw.
It was so simple, but to him, it was exciting. He loved that he was able to do that. He was proud of himself.
It made me think about how I should be proud of myself, even for the smallest of accomplishments. For example, I should have been proud when I was able to start calling the doctor's office on my own. It's not really that big of a deal. We all have to at some point, right? However, for me, someone with a lot of anxiety who is very slowly moving into adulthood, it was a big deal.
It's important to remind yourself that it's OK to be happy and to celebrate your accomplishments — even the small ones.
The other thing to remember is to appreciate everything that you have. My nephew taught me this, too. He may not always have the best of something, but he loves what he does have. I mean, he may not actually know any better at the time, but still.
Sometimes, we spend so much time thinking about what we want, or about how we wish we had something else, that we forget that what we do have is good enough.
I'm jealous that a lot of people my age are starting to find apartments. They are moving forward with their lives, and I'm not. I'm still living with at home. When I stop to think about it, though, I realize that I have a roof over my head and a family I love.
I'm working hard to get where I want to be, and I spent some time battling cancer. So, it's OK that I'm a little behind. I was diagnosed right out of high school, so I didn't get that transition period into adulthood like my peers did at the time.
Positive thinking also helps with your mental health. If you're happy with what you have and celebrate your accomplishments, you'll feel good about yourself and put yourself in a better place.
I think we could all use a little more happiness in our lives. Ever heard the phrase "Stop and smell the roses"? That's what this means. Just take a little time to realize that things aren't as bad as they seem.
For those of you who have recently done something new, something you probably have never done before, congratulations.
Be proud of yourself and celebrate.