20 Things That Made Me Smile This Week

Aug 21, 2018

“We have what we seek. It is there all the time. And if we slow down and be still, it will make itself known to us.” —Thomas Merton

Perhaps we do need the amazing, extraordinary experiences to make us treasure all the more the everydays we have the good fortune to step into each day. But perhaps not.

Maybe, it is simply a matter of awareness that everydays are very sweet indeed, and when we remind ourselves not to swiftly move through them, in a hurry to get to something supposedly more exciting and “big” as the world would define, we would come to realize the extraordinary ‘everyday’ life we have the opportunity to live.

I was reminded of this life truth over the past month, but especially this past week as just in the span of a couple of days, I wanted to frame them, never look at the clock and express my sincerest gratitude. It may sound over the top to hear that such simple events (as you will see below) could make someone so overwhelmed with joy and appreciation, but as I sit in my office during an afternoon when the blue sky is fighting through the haze (successfully so), Norman’s gentle snoring provides the background music while Oscar silently sleeps in peace, syncopated jazz music subtly fills the room, hot tea from Paris is being sipped and the afternoon is mine to fill as I please, I know that this is bliss. Yes, more days such as these, please. 

Today I would like to share with you my list of appreciation so that you might too look around you and observe all that is going well, all that makes you feel most fortunate and a reminder that your life is moving along indeed just fine, all the while giving you the gift of the self-awareness to savor the now. 

  1. (in reference to the above photo) Having a copper tea kettle to send away to be re-tinned. (Oh, how I will miss you! Come back safely! Now when did I ever think I’d be talking to a tea kettle?! It’s a special one though – see here.)
  2. Sleeping deeply through the night as the temperatures drop to comfortable lows. 
  3. Watching the birds delight in the bird food in the backyard.
  4. Finding the books I look forward to reading available at the library to check out. 
  5. Picking up the week’s fresh bread from the bakery and adding another loaf to my regular customer card (soon, a free loaf!).
  6. Seeing The English Home‘s latest issue arrive in my mailbox. 
  7. Noticing a hummingbird drink with abandon from the bird feeder by my kitchen window as I go about my day.
  8. Starting the day with a paddle along the river with Norman and being accompanied by only the many red-winged black birds perched upon the cattails. 
  9. (Yes, I am noticing I have a predilection for birds . . . hmmm . . . )
  10. Seeing Fedex deliver my tea allotment for the season (many of my favorites are from Palais des Thés: Montagne Bleue and Blue of London). 
  11. Planning a petite apéro time with friends.
  12. Feeling a sense of preparedness for the upcoming fall season after going through my ‘Back to Work/School‘ list.
  13. Working without a clock.
  14. Enjoying catch-up conversations with loved ones. 
  15. Listening/reading emails/comments from readers about their journeys and delights.
  16. Discovering someone new to follow on Facebook and wondering why I haven’t been following them sooner as each season they share some intriguing and worthwhile book suggestions
  17. Wiggling with excitement for the Patisserie edition of The Great British Baking Show (this past Sunday) to air on PBS (it’s new to us here in the states; old in actuality as it is the 3rd season of the Great British Bake-Off). 
  18. Realizing that watching NBR (Nightly Business Report) and reading a morning daily briefing from a national newspaper is far less stressful when it comes to staying informed, and it still keeps me abreast of the news. 
  19. Finally learning how to cook beef tenderloin aka Julia Child! 
  20. Falling asleep to the chirping of the crickets. 

Quieting myself, letting my world settle and be still has brought to my attention all the richness of everyday life even more than I previously knew it to be. I hope you too are reveling in your everydays, delighting in the moments that we no longer will take for granted, and falling a sleep (or starting your day) with a smile on your face. 

~10 Things That Made Me Smile This Week (September 2018)

~View more TSLL Lifestyle posts here

26 thoughts on “20 Things That Made Me Smile This Week

  1. That is a wonderful list. I Started keeping a gratitude journal a few years back after watching an Oprah segment on it and it really has been life changing for me. Some days are challenging of course but there is always something ☺️

  2. Hello Shannon Thank you so much for the tea recommendations, I am about to place an order to try something new. My preference is for loose tea, a bonus of which is that the spent leaves scattered underneath hostas deters the slugs. My daughter and I are also taking advantage of the Soak and Sleep discount, new duvets and pillows on their way!
    Best wishes from the UK, Sue

    1. I didn’t know about the tea leaf trick, Sue !
      Thanks for sharing ?
      I love hostas, but so do my slugs !
      So I don’t currently have any , but if tea leaves deter them I might just have another try .
      I just have a little patio garden, so most of my plants live in pots.
      Enjoy your lovely linens from soak and sleep .

      1. Hi Anne, Hostas are particularly stunning raised up in pots, scatter the tea leaves inside the rims, coffee grounds work too! I’m looking forward to my linens, wish I had a bigger budget! Whereabouts in the UK are you? Best wishes, Sue

        1. Hi Sue , I’m in the North West , Lancashire, how about you ?
          I love that Shannon’s blog brings us all together !
          Thanks for the hosta tips ?
          Best Wishes

          1. Hi Anne I’m in the North East, Co Durham. Hope the tea leaves help. I now feel responsible for the health of everyone’s hostas! Best wishes Sue

  3. Loved the photo of your copper kettle and the beautiful tones of the dahlia Shannon.
    It will soon be back with you, and you will be able to celebrate your first cup of tea from your French find .
    Oh to have hummingbirds in the garden………..how lovely.
    We don’t have them in the UK, but we do have a wonderful diversity of birds in our gardens, and watching them on the feeders is such a pleasure , as well as the added bonus of birdsong .
    I love finding new books I need the library…………..enjoy ?
    This was such a lovely list of ‘everyday abundance and appreciation ‘
    Thank you for sharing it.
    Have a lovely day.

  4. Shannon ~ thank you. I just love this post. It truly is the simple things that matter the most {and that so many overlook in their daily rush}.

    1. Thank you for stopping by Jessica. 🙂 It does take conscious effort, and I can stray from being present at times. But it is getting far easier to get back to the moment and pay attention that has ever been before. 🙂

  5. Your copper kettle looks like the one my mother had. I don’t know what happened to it when you left us to go to Heaven. I remember visiting her after her health had declined and found her sitting in her kitchen by the wood stove polishing her kettle. Sweet memory.
    Last night as I was going to bed the crickets were happily singing. Love sleeping these cool nights with the windows open and hearing them.

    1. I hope you find her tea kettle! But at least you still have the memories of her and her time and attention to it. Yes, summer nights with the windows left open are a great luxury. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  6. It must be the morning for revelling in simple pleasures. I woke to a beautiful blue sky after weeks of overcast Australian winter. I do love winter here as it usually has blue skies and crisp cool air but it has been unusually dreary for weeks. I made myself a cup of tea and noticed that the calendar was blank for today, the joy of a day to myself. I took my tea onto my verandah which overlooks a billabong (a long pond that was once a river until the river changed its course) and saw two pelicans feeding. What a lovely way to start the day.

  7. Lovely list. I enjoy quite a few of those as well. There is so much to smile about in our lives.You made me smile when I read that you’re talking to the copper kettle!! Hope you weren’t overheard !! I totally understand. Recently acquired a cockerel and some hens. They are making me smile. They are very interesting to observe and I talk to them quite a bit. They look at me ‘puzzled’. I am enjoying waking up to our cockerel’s song each morning! ?

  8. I really needed to read those. So many wonder-filled things happen every moment and lately I’ve been too occupied with what’s beyond my control to notice. I’ve also created that “yuck” in my stomach. Thank you Shannon for bringing me back to reality. Now if I can only find Serrano peppers locally, mmm…..

  9. Looking at this while eating my lunch at my desk on a particularly busy day, feeling a bit overwhelmed. Thank you for the reminder to take a minute to appreciate the little things in life that we should be grateful for. It made me look out my office window and take in the summer day. I hope you do more of these. Very inspirational.

  10. Hey Shannon,

    Reading this particular post of yours is very much equal to listening to Max Ritcher’s Sleep. So blissful.

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