We are always on the lookout for ways to balance out our stressful and hectic lives and this week’s Balanced Babe has it covered! Diane Gottsman is a National Etiquette Expert and Owner of protocolschooloftexas.com. As an industry leader, Diane Gottsman is an accomplished speaker, author and national television personality, as well as the resident etiquette expert on two popular morning shows in Austin, Texas. Her blog, dianegottsman.com, has a wealth of expert advice on modern manners, including business and lifestyle etiquette, and is packed with insight and inspiration. Thanks Diane for taking time out of your busy schedule to share these 10 ways of “Finding Joy in a Busy Life” !
Finding Joy in a Busy Life
It’s easy to get caught up in the frenzy of our daily routine, chasing big dreams and focusing on what we need to do to create a large life. Save money, buy a house, pay the kids’ tuition, take the perfect vacation, get the right haircut, buy a new car … the list goes on and on. The focus is seldom on the simple things that unexpectedly bring us joy. When we slow down, we make time to see and appreciate the small comforts that are all around us every day.
Here’s a list of 10 simple pleasures that bring me a feeling of gratitude and bliss:
- A roll of quarters. Knowing I don’t have to scrounge for change when I need to feed the parking meter gives me a sense of peace. It’s a way for me to feel prepared for the unexpected and I love seeing a fresh sleeve of coins ready to tear open at a moment’s notice.
- An unexpected text from a faraway friend. A simple “I miss you” from someone I care about is enough to brighten my entire day. Why not send someone you haven’t spoken with in a while a quick message?
- A fresh set of sharpened pencils. Especially when the erasers are still unused. This transports me back to the first day of school when my bag of supplies were all perfectly new. I feel the same energy every school year when I am helping my kids get ready for the first day of school. I routinely invest in beautiful office supplies that brighten my day.
- One perfect lemon from my new lemon tree – a cherished gift from a friend. One of my friends recently moved and gifted me her beloved lemon tree. To say I was moved would be an understatement, knowing how much the tree meant to her and how carefully she tended to it made the gift even more special. You may find joy in a handful of flavorful leaves from a potted basil plant, or a ripe tomato from the garden. There’s something satisfying about growing your own food, no matter how small the harvest.
- Waking up to the smell of morning coffee. It’s worth the extra effort to set my coffee maker the night before. I am motivated to get out of bed when I wake up to the smell of brewing coffee.
- The unexpected sight of my children’s smile. As a parent, our children’s happiness is the driving force behind just about everything we do. I drink in the moment as the perfect opportunity to pause and consider how miraculous life is and how grateful I am.
- A slice of warm pie straight out of the oven. The feeling is equivalent to a hug, served on a dessert plate. Just-baked cookies or warm brownies are perfectly adequate substitutions, especially when someone delivers them to my door. When I bake, which is not very often, I make a point of whipping up double batches – one for my family, and another for a friend or elderly neighbor.
- Discovering a favorite book in the cabinet that I forgot I had. It’s always a thrill to revisit a book that has special meaning or represents a certain time frame. Taking note of earmarked pages and particular highlights and notes I took that meant something special to me at a particular time in my life.
- A memory-trigger. Every time I smell cinnamon, it takes me back to the warm sweet rolls and cold milk my nursery school served for breakfast every morning when I was a child. I can still the see faces of my little friends running to the door to greet me, and grab my hand as we all skipped together to the tiny little tables and chairs awaiting our morning treat. The scent brings back the memory decades later.
- Having my hair professionally washed and blown out. It’s one of my favorite indulgences. Not only do I get to sit and relax, but walk away ready to take on the day.
Delights surround us wherever we go. When you take time to notice, you are tapping into a rich and endless source of happiness. Keep your eyes open and you will be surprised at what you find.