The little things

This morning I was having a cup of coffee in the garden of my holiday address (read: my other half’s parents’ house), contemplating how this was not what I had in mind for my holiday. This is not South Africa, watching hippo’s while eating a copious breakfast, or Indonesia, staring at rice fields while indulging an amazing smoothie bowl…

I was sulking, while I sipped a lovely cup of coffee in a sunny quiet garden, listening to the sound of ruffling trees, chirping birds (and I don’t mean the loud city-pigeon type), the fountain in the small garden pond and had a magazine in my hands for some brainless reading. I also just finished breakfast consisting of all typical Dutch things I love and missed (ask me about “filet americain” next time we meet and I’ll try to explain the joy of “meat paste”) .

Oh, how life sucks…

Be it a coincidence, or the universe telling me to suck it up, I stumbled on an article about being happy with, and grateful for the little things in life in this magazine. I instantly felt bad about my attitude and promised myself to change it. Pronto.

It also made me consider how I approach life in general. I often catch myself being after the next adventure, the next challenge, the next thing that is even bigger and better then the last. Sometimes I forget to pause and reflect on what I have achieved, what I’m proud of or happy with right now.

On the other hand, I’m a person who can be very conciously enjoying the little things in life. I can be in awe of a tree or the sky or a scent. I can wake up being massively grateful for a good night sleep, my comfy bed and the thought of having a nice shower. I love a stroll and get incredibly excited about discovering a pretty street, a cosy café or a pretty shop. I do little dances of joy when I eat great food. And still, I can get thrown easily if something tiny doesn’t go the way I wanted or expected.

Why do I get myself into that mindset of being dissatisfied in a situation when there is so much to be grateful for?

Yes, normally, we would be exploring some exotic destination on the other side of the world. We’d be experiencing new cultures, food, views, nature. This year we’re using the time to see family and friends who we haven’t been able to see since Christmas. We’re staying in a place surrounded by nature: very different to the hustle and bustle of London city centre. It’s quiet and life is slower than back home. We’re not more than a 90 minute drive away from the sea, from hills, caves, dunes, castles, forests, rivers, historical towns, brilliant restaurants, theme parks, museums, spa’s and what not. And the sun is out!

I’ve decided to keep reminding myself of how lucky we are and be conciously grateful for the next couple of weeks. For the down time, for the small things we missed when not in the Netherlands, for spending time with loved ones and for spending time with ourselves, exploring bits of the Netherlands we don’t know that well.  I might have a moment if and when it starts raining again, but luckily enough, Netflix streams here too 😉

It’s all about the attitude and putting things in perspective. Maya Angelou said very wisely that you can’t choose what life throws at you, but you can choose how to deal with it. That applies to every aspect of your life and I try to live by that. I just forgot for a bit, while moping over first world problems.

Right now, it means I can choose not to act like a spoiled toddler and start enjoying my holiday.

I’m off exploring one of those forests now!

How do you put things in life in the right perspective? Do you ever consciously choose your attitude to what life throws at you?