by Kimberlea Chabot
The simple things.
These are the easiest ones not to do. To forget about.
The glass of water I would drink before each meal now forgotten. The morning meditation that I skipped that one day- and never went back to. The occasional celebratory glass of wine that has become my daily way to unwind. The sugar-filled granola bar in the car that counts as a meal is now the norm and not the exception to the rule.
I realize there are other simple things that have been forgotten, too.
The hug when you first walk in the door. The “I’m sorry” for no other reason than one of us is hurting. The making of a hot cup of tea for me at night. The pulling back of your side of the covers before I slip into bed.
My favorite thoughts come in the morning, right after that first cup of coffee, when I am quite sure I can conquer the world while never eating another carb ever again and always remaining calm in every moment. It's a high that comes with a price. When the power wears off and I am without my caffeinated cape, the ground seems far below. The wounds deep from repeated falls. It is in this lowest of places that my determination and commitment to remember to do the simple things starts to waiver. It's easier to look at the big picture far off in the future. What magic pill or quick- fix book do I need? Its harder to focus on my own daily habits instead.
Recently I woke early in the morning, before the creak of the wooden steps would cause anyone to stir, before the birds had realized it was time to add their voices to the day, before the sun was ready to make an appearance. I sat on the porch, engulfed in more darkness than light and woke to the realization that I had literally stuffed my life with big, noisy, flashy activities and events and what I wanted back was the small, insignificant in the moment, simple things. I realized I left no room for those simple things to happen. Sitting on the couch with my legs across your lap, listening to music. Enjoying a good book from cover to cover in one evening. A spontaneous dance party on the kitchen floor. A stroll at night just to check on the shape of the moon and to feel grounded under a blanket of stars. Not quantifiable in any way. Not worthy of an Instagram post. Just deeply fulfilling.
I made a list of all the simple things I had let go of and wanted back. I gave myself permission to only focus on the one thing I wanted to do today that would affect my tomorrow. For me, it was cultivating gratitude for what was already present in my life. I then restarted my morning with a mug full of hot tea and a simple text, “How can I make your day great?” I sent it to my husband. Then I realized I needed to send it to someone else, too. I sent the same text to myself as a reminder to start with the little things first.
What simple thing do you want back in your life? What one thing can you do today that will make your tomorrow even better?
Kimberlea lives in West Hartford, Connecticut and considers her husband of 18 years and their three children to be both her greatest blessings – and her greatest challenge to living mindfully.