The big things are critical. For sanity’s sake, the small things are still more so.
Short thought: Following the lifting of our self-isolation on Wednesday, all three of us (self, spouse, daughter) went to get re-tested. We’re lucky enough to live in Southend Borough, which has a no-questions policy re testing; anyone can get it, any time. So we sat in the car, probed nose and mouth, coughed and sneezed as a result, and handed the results out through the window.
This morning: negatives all round. I could have danced.
So again, to the beach. And I was reminded, yet again, of something I learned long ago whose truth has become still more self-evident over the past year.
The small things matter.
Which isn’t to say the big things don’t. Of course they do. And they can be hell to cope with. But they’re far, far harder if you don’t have a substrate of small joys to see you through the hard times.
I know I’m lucky. My work is plentiful. My family are wonderful. My friends and colleagues are smart, thoughtful and caring. I have more luxury to look for the small things, perhaps.
But they’re all around us. Like this morning. Barely a breath of wind, the water lapping at the sand. And as I stood still at the littoral, the quiet whisper of the wavelets filled me.
Small things like that. Priceless.
Someone is right on the internet: On the subject of small things (well, near enough), the Atlantic has something that rings true. I won’t spoil it – it’s a very short piece – but it sings the song of adapting one’s expectations to the circumstances:
Strive for excellence, by all means… But lower the bar, and keep it low, when it comes to your personal attachment to the world. Gratification? Satisfaction? Having your needs met? Fool’s gold.
Read the rest. Worth it.
(If you’d like to read more like this, and would prefer it simply landing in your inbox three or so times a week, please go ahead and subscribe at https://remoteaccessbar.substack.com/.)