Not So “Little” Things
The little things. I have been thinking a lot during the pandemic (haven’t we all?!) about this concept, and how (for some of us) it took A PANDEMIC to realize how incredibly important the little things are. An image I posted on Instagram yesterday encapsulated this completely. It was a picture of a hug, lasting only a few seconds, and it was one of the little things, that for my 82-year-old grandmother and my 10-year-old daughter, was huge. The tender connection in this moment overwhelmed all of us present; I felt that familiar catch in my throat as I watched this beautiful intergenerational exchange happen, knowing I was witnessing something that, somewhere, we all feared may never happen again. In that moment, the world quieted and there was just love, masks and all.
For me, the “little things” that have become the biggest things in my life are:
- The aforementioned stolen hug(s)
- Dinner around the table with my little household
- A walk outside in late afternoon sun
- An icy-cold morning swim (now with a wetsuit, thank GOD!)
- The warmth of my love’s body next to me in bed
- A socially distanced, from the heart, full body experience belly laugh with a friend
As I write this, I’m reflecting on how all of these “little” things are, in fact, huge and body-based. When we feel something deeply in our hearts, it is often sensationally experienced in the body, making these moments even more ingrained into longing, contentment, and the inner peace that we feel when our brains and bodies are fully synchronized. These instances are rare, and are less accessible for some of us, often due to trauma. However, when they can be caught and held, even briefly, they are life-sustaining.
2020 (whichever part of its shitshow nature that is most salient to you) has stripped away some of the ways that many of us were “living large” with boozy Friday happy hours, expensive dinners out at fancy restaurants, or sightseeing luxury vacations. Cities feel less appealing, and for me, travel on an airplane is a strong hell no. But I can continue to access those tiny moments, those little things each day during which my heart feels that fleeting but beautiful, transitory place of lagom, loosely translated from Swedish as “just right.”
Look for where the body and brain align, where the head and the heart coalesce, and I’m guessing you’ll find some of those “little things” too. Happy discovering!