I have learned that the simplest joys in life make our days so much happier and fulfilling.  People normally are focused on work, insisting on looking their best and making money. The piece of the puzzle they totally forget is to enjoy the moment or show appreciation toward others. It does not matter who says it or if it is a text, but when you hear a person appreciates you, the feeling is incredible and can send you to the moon and back. If a stranger were to complement me, it is considered a huge joy in my life and makes my day that someone even recognized me. We should never allow others to steal our joy, instead, allow those wonderful strangers who recognize us showing kindness. We must do exactly the opposite of feeling miserable and defeated, kindness surrounds us and warms us in imaginary blankets – just allow it in.

I will always recall my very first day in chemotherapy. I was in a terrified state due to an incredibly serious cancer surgery just prior to being hooked up in a circular, curtained room not knowing what poisonous fluids were soon injected into my body. My breakdown began once the nurse closed the curtain. Tears flowed from me and suddenly a stranger pulled the curtain apart and walked in holding a basket of strawberries. She looked at me and asked if I wanted one. I was stunned at the kindness, generosity, and love from a complete stranger. What a joy that was at such a terrible time in my life. My heart felt like it was going to blow up with emotion.

Sitting at a traffic light the other day on a winter morning, feeling somewhat low and rundown, I noticed leaves dancing on the broken sidewalk cracks. It made me feel alive as I saw the beautiful colors of gold and brown and crisp leaves. Setting time aside to reflect is so important in our short lives. It is satisfying to look at the mundane things and become inspired, I call it a relaxing and therapeutic time. Something as simple as a good-night’s sleep and the restfulness we feel after is both a blessing and a small joy.

Connecting with awesome people, some whom I have never met, is a huge joy in my life. Social media has been good to me in that I’ve met the most wonderful and caring people. Maybe it is another version of “pen-pals,” but I have gained years of kind and loving friendships from the written words of strangers. Life is happening right now so when I get an email filled with a few caring words, my day is made.  Strangers really can make a positive difference in your life.  I would rather have small, genuine moments than the latest dress or focus on looking 25 years old, when in fact, I am actually a mature woman. It can make you more content to zero in on small significant yet caring moments in life.

I find the things that cannot be bought or purchased to be the most joyous.  Any intangible that brings you calmness or peace is a joy that costs nothing. I confidentially say that savoring the little things have made me happiest. Taking a walk with the sun on my face is a powerful feeling of gratitude for me. Or sipping the most perfect cup of coffee while eating a pastry tasting like a sweet cloud. Or feeling at peace with the world.

You don’t have to zip out your Visa to obtain these joyous moments, they are always there because as humans we live in the thick of it all with nature at its best. Sometimes it requires curiosity and the ability to let your mind wander. A cup of Starbucks and an hour alone at Target is a huge bonus for me and I make sure I require that at times. It’s good to get lost in your thoughts.

It isn’t about retail shopping.  You can actually stop and smell the roses while perusing around Target. It helps not to be fixated on our phones or the worst thing someone might have said. I purposely redirect my thoughts to what feels good and what is positive for me. Be calm, be present, find your happy place and relocate to that spot permanently. It feels so wonderful!!!