Often, it’s the little things in life that can provide the most happiness. After a bad day, even a simple thing can provide a much-needed lift to a sour mood. Here are five of my “little things,” which, even though they might mean nothing to another person, have a great impact on me.
1.) Going to a movie by myself.
I used to do this pretty often in college, while I was taking film classes and I lived by myself. I had a four and a half hour break between classes during one semester, so instead of camping at the library, I would go to the theater down the street and catch an afternoon movie before heading back to campus. Obviously, I love going to the movies with friends and family, but when I go alone, it allows me to truly immerse myself, when otherwise I might whisper to my best friend how cute an actor is, or how much I like some character’s dress. Sometimes, I can only truly appreciate a film when I’m alone, free to analyze it as I see fit, without chatter or interference. Also, sometimes no one else wants to see the movie I’m going to… still don’t know why no one in my immediate circle wanted to see Paranorman, but whatever, their loss. If you’re a film fan with a preconceived notion that going to the movies alone makes you a loser, give it a try. I also go twice in one day sometimes, which is a bit painful for my butt (theater seats, man) but a good time regardless. Plus, that means double the gummy bears! And one of the local theaters has three different kinds of Skittles, including orchard skittles, which are the BEST.
2.) Staying up late to finish a good book.
I used to do this all the time in high school, regardless of my 6AM alarm, but there was a stretch of time a few years ago where I read nothing besides designated reading for my classes, and that drought continued after graduation. My burnt-out brain just couldn’t delve into a book for pleasure, and it took finally reading George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series over the summer of 2013 to drag me out of my funk. It doesn’t happen very often anymore, considering my alarm typically goes off at 5AM and I’m a zombie half the time anyway, but when it does, it is always, ALWAYS worth it. Losing myself in a world for a few hours, until the last page turns over and the last words appear, is such a gratifying experience, even if I have to drag myself out of bed the next day. I pretty much have to do that every day regardless, so might as well have a reason for it.
3.) A great song comes on the radio after a long day.
Not too long ago, I had a rough day and was driving home on a back road when “Eye of the Tiger” (otherwise known as the “Rocky song”) by Survivor came on the radio. Naturally, I rolled the windows down and started scream-singing along, which is the only thing to do when that song starts playing. The same goes for “Come on Eileen” by Dexy’s Midnight Runners, which I serenaded my fellow commuters with the other day, despite the fact that my singing voice sounds like a dying rhino. Just one song can instantly lift my mood. And if Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” comes on at any point while I’m in the car, fellow drivers better watch out.
4.) When my name is spelled right on coffee cups.
Both my pen name and my real name suffer from frequent misspellings–not because they are difficult to spell, but because there are various versions. I never bother spelling it out for the barista because it’s not hard to pronounce (I do get “Alice” a lot, though, usually due to a failure to enunciate), but it’s always a gamble as to whether or not they’re going to use the correct spelling. And when it’s spelled wrong, it doesn’t bother me, because it’s pretty close most of the time. But it is weirdly vindicating to get the cup with my white chocolate mocha in it and see my name spelled correctly. Like, it’s not a massive deal in the grand scheme of things (as in, it is practically the epitome of “the little things”) but it is very satisfying.
5.) Fleece-lined leggings.
By far, this is the most trivial item on my list. But you cannot possibly comprehend the power these leggings have. During the autumn/winter months, when I’m just hanging out at home, writing or cleaning or whatever, I am almost always wearing these leggings, because they are the most comfortable article of clothing I own. It got to the point where I bought a second pair of the exact same leggings just so I could wear them even more. They are the perfect combination of warm/comfort, and I got them for only $3 on sale! Probably the greatest purchase I’ve ever made, not gonna lie.