11 Ways To Enjoy The Simple Things In Life

11 Ways To Enjoy The Simple Things In Life

It's the small stuff that really counts.
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Today's society is brainwashed into thinking "the bigger, the better." We're told to dream big, go big, do big things —

but what about the small stuff? Life's not-so-everyday pleasures, the things that we should all take the time to do, but too often forget about. If you're wanting to get back to the basics, here's a few ideas to help you remember how to savor life, every tiny bit of it.

1. Recreate a childhood favorite.

Childhood, the simplest of times. Something as small as making a classic PB&J for lunch could be just the break you need from your normal lunch routine. Crust, no crust, cut diagonally, or into tiny triangles —

whatever floats your boat and brings back the sweet memory of the days when mom took care of it all.

2. Go star gazing.

Get lost in just how minuscule you are in this universe. By realizing how big this world we live in really is, you're able to see how insignificant your daily stresses are.

3. Enjoy your cup of coffee.

Actually drink it for the flavor, for the chance to simply have a moment —

not while you're rushing on your way to work, or in the library at three in the morning when you have four chapters to go. Share the experience with a friend, somewhere quiet with just the steam of your mug and a few minutes of catching up. I've even heard of some cafes where there isn't wifi or reachable outlets, forcing customers to interact while they sip on their lattes.

4. Smile at strangers.

The woman you see at the bus stop with the long face may feel like she has the weight of the world on her shoulders, and your friendly gesture could be all that is needed to lift it away. Make it a habit —

something as small as a smile goes longer than you could ever imagine.

5. Find shapes in clouds.

I swear kids could do this for days, but most adults look up and see the clouds for exactly what they are. The only difference is that kids rely on their imagination to make sense out of everything, whereas most grown-ups have become so technical, it's sad. Sometimes it's okay to act like a kid again. Spend an afternoon at the park recharging the part of your brain that's been out of order for so long. You never know what you'll see.

6. Pay it forward.

Whether you buy the next person's coffee in a drive-thru, bring a homeless man a hot dinner or carry your elderly neighbors mail in everyday. One silent act of kindness speaks a 1,000 words.

7. Watch the sun rise and set in the same day.

We let days, weeks, months, and maybe even years go by without remembering to do something —

don't let this be one of those things. With every new morning comes the promise of a fresh start, and every night the promise that the day's slate has been wiped clean. Simply put-time will pass without us realizing, but by watching one day fade into another your perspective on everything can drastically change.

8. Thank people.

No, not a mumbled "thanks" under your breath to someone who held the door, but a sincere expression for how thankful you are for someone or something they did. Not many people actually take the time to do this, so when you do, others will notice and remember you for the better.

9. Send a card in the mail.

Who doesn't love getting personalized mail? Normally this excitement comes once or twice a year for birthdays and maybe the holidays, but even those practices are slowly becoming extinct. Send a card just saying "Hi," or "Thinking of you on this random Tuesday because I had the best bagel ever, and I know how much you love bagels!" It's great to be thought of, or for little details about yourself to be remembered by someone else, so ditch iMessage for a second and spread the love by snail mail.

10. People watch.

You walk past hundreds of people a day, not knowing a single thing about them. Just sit on a bench somewhere and observe, everyone that passes has a story that you will probably never hear. Rather than judging someone on their appearance or attitude, you see how they exist naturally, which leads you to actually wanting to get to know them. By doing so, the next time you're behind someone in line, you might just be more open minded to striking up a conversation and learning a little bit about what makes them, them.

11. Spend time with different generations.

Most of us go to school and work with people similar to our age, but some of the greatest lessons in life will be taught to us by people that are significantly younger or older than us. Take time to have real conversations with your younger cousins and actually listen to the forever long stories your grandparents tell. Kids say genius stuff sometimes, and you never know how much your going to miss the ramblings of back in the day stories when you can't hear them anymore.

Cover Image Credit: Alexis Goodwin

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To The Parent Who Chose Addiction

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

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When I was younger I resented you, I hated every ounce of you, and I used to question why God would give me a parent like you. Not now. Now I see the beauty and the blessings behind having an addict for a parent. If you're reading this, it isn't meant to hurt you, but rather to thank you.

Thank you for choosing your addiction over me.

Throughout my life, you have always chosen the addiction over my programs, my swim meets or even a simple movie night. You joke about it now or act as if I never questioned if you would wake up the next morning from your pill and alcohol-induced sleep, but I thank you for this. I thank you because I gained a relationship with God. The amount of time I spent praying for you strengthened our relationship in ways I could never explain.

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Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

The amount of hurt and disappointment our family has gone through has brought us closer together. I have a relationship with Nanny and Pop that would never be as strong as it is today if you had been in the picture from day one. That in itself is a blessing.

Thank you for showing me how to love.

From your absence, I have learned how to love unconditionally. I want you to know that even though you weren't here, I love you most of all. No matter the amount of heartbreak, tears, and pain I've felt, you will always be my greatest love.

Thank you for making me strong.

Thank you for leaving and for showing me how to be independent. From you, I have learned that I do not need anyone else to prove to me that I am worthy of being loved. From you, I have learned that life is always hard, but you shouldn't give into the things that make you feel good for a short while, but should search for the real happiness in life.

Most of all, thank you for showing me how to turn my hurt into motivation.

I have learned that the cycle of addiction is not something that will continue into my life. You have hurt me more than anyone, but through that hurt, I have pushed myself to become the best version of myself.

Thank you for choosing the addiction over me because you've made me stronger, wiser, and loving than I ever could've been before.

Cover Image Credit: http://crashingintolove.tumblr.com/post/62246881826/pieffysessanta-tumblr-com

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What I Wish I Knew About Life After High School Before I Had To Live It

Life after high school isn't always what you expected it to be.

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So you're about to graduate high school and you think you have it all figured out. You and your best friends are going to stay close throughout college and you're going to take those long road trips in college to see each other. Think again.

Life after high school isn't always what you want it to be. You think you'll miss high school, you'll always be close with your high school besties, and you'll have all this free time in college. That's just not entirely true. I personally do not miss high school. I don't really talk to anyone I went to high school with on a regular basis, and I'm totally OK with that. I have friends in college that I believe will be my lifelong friends whereas my friends in high school didn't make an effort to keep in contact with me after high school.

I haven't had all the free time I've dreamed of in college, because I'm busy with school and meetings. When I'm not doing homework, I'm making sure the rest of my life is in order and all my stuff for school is in line. I'm not the crazy party girl that people think I am because of where I go to school. I'd rather sit in bed and watch Netflix than go out with my friends. I'm not a 4.0 student, but I work so hard in my classes just to make sure that I'm passing. I study a week before tests and still don't always make A's. And that's OK. It's not what I expected during my college years, but it's what's happening, and most of my friends are the same way.

Anne Marie Bonadio

Just know that life in college isn't all easy, breezy, and beautiful like Covergirl. It's hard and you will struggle whether it be in school or with your friends. College isn't always complete freedom. You'll be tied down with school and life and you won't have the free time that you always imagined. You won't always be best friends with your high school friends. You won't be taking those road trips because you won't be able to afford them, and if you're like me, your parents won't let you.

College won't be exactly what you dreamed it'll be, but it'll be some of the best years of your life.

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