What will finally make you happy? Winning lotto? Is your dream to one day win Lotto, but you never buy lottery tickets? I know. The lottery keeps giving your money to someone else. Fur coats, jewelry, a luxury car? What’s your pleasure? More money? In the words of Jackie Mason: “Money is not the most important thing in the world. Love is. Fortunately, I love money.”

You may be convinced that the major events of your life are what bring you satisfaction: receiving that long-awaited promotion, buying your new home, or even your latest planned out vacation.  If being a mom is your job, you are way overdue for a promotion.

But believe it or not, it’s the simple things in life that make us feel joyful. What was the last small, unexpected pleasure you experienced? Here are some effortless indulgences that you may have overlooked. Did you inhale the scent of your clean linen in your freshly made bed last night? Speaking of clean…Don’t you wish your bank account filled up as fast as your laundry basket? Have you ever looked at the last few loads of laundry and considered throwing just them away? I get it.

Truly taste that toasty warm bread.  What was sliced bread the greatest thing since? Hmmm.  Become aware of the sound of crackling firewood. On your morning walk, actually feel the sun on your face.  Morning, ah. You know that if people were meant to pop out of bed, we’d all sleep in toasters. There ought to be a rule against people trying to be funny before the sun comes up.

Many of us do not even savor that squeaky-clean feeling after a soothing bath or warm shower. Aside from being nice and clean, that shower makes you sound like a real singer, and helps you make all of your life’s decisions. Dip your feet in cold water when it’s hot out. Ahhh. View the night sky. Appreciate and experience a thunderstorm when you are cozily indoors.

Perhaps you had a freshly brewed cup of coffee or tea this morning. How do you take your tea? Seriously. Very seriously.  Trust me, behind every successful woman is a substantial amount of coffee.

Were your favorite shoes on sale this week? You just rescued the pair that was trapped in the store. It’s always show o’clock somewhere.  A small gesture from someone may have meant more to you than some grandiose spectacle. Learn to connect the dots of all of your small daily enjoyments and fulfillments.

Need a jumpstart? Bike, run, or take a walk outdoors.  Smell the freshly cut grass.  Notice the fresh coating of pristine white snow in the winter. Play or crunch the autumn leaves under your feet.  Be in the moment when you wear something new – even a brand-new pair of socks. Listen, life it too short to worry about matching socks. You know what they say: Happiness is like a missing sock. You know it will turn up eventually, but it will probably be in the strangest place.

Music: most especially when your favorite song comes on the radio on your way home. Then again, you know how you love a song, download it, listen to it a million times and then hate it. Sheesh.  How about when she relinquishes control of the remote? Me? I couldn’t find the remote control to the remote control.

Curling up with a new book can remind you of the simplicity of your childhood. Inhale the scent of freshly baked cookies or bread. Is there any greater mood booster than a warm chocolate chip cookie straight out of the oven? Not much compares with a batch of homemade sweetness from your friend or loved one. Share a laugh with him while you are munching.  Hey, I tried to start an online bakery, but I accidentally deleted all my cookies. After all, life is what you bake it.

Admit it, sweet friends. A gesture of kindness from a stranger can make life tolerable and worth living, even on a bad day. Please try not to take these elements of your life for granted. Do not make your happiness contingent on the outcome of some future event. Once you achieve that goal, trust me, you will quickly be on to the next one.

If you can’t actually attain everything you desire, can you still feel comfortable and content? Center your attention on all the warm-heartedness you can find in your life.  Draw much of your happiness from the little things and simple pleasures. If your life gets blurry, it may be time to adjust your focus.

Fill in the blank, please: “Happiness is___.” Is it accidentally hearing someone saying nice things about you? Is it getting a whiff of the air as you get closer to the beach? Maybe bliss is just a lazy Sunday.  Is it finally getting home after a long day at work? For me, it’s simply a nice hot cup of coffee. Listen, I will start working when my coffee does.  I just consider coffee part of my daily grind.

No need to remove all the things you love. But remove things that distract you from the things you love. What say you, sweet friends? What are some of the small things that make your life big?


Caroline is a licensed psychotherapist, crisis counselor, and writer with an office in Queens.  She works with individuals, couples, and families.  Appointments are available throughout the week and weekends.  She can be reached at 917-717-1775 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or at facebook.com/pages/Safe-Haven-Healing.

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