The folks in my family are always on the lookout for these ridiculous dancing guys with the wacky waving arms. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)

The folks in my family are always on the lookout for these ridiculous dancing guys with the wacky waving arms. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)

Column: Seeking out simple pleasures

Keep your eyes peeled and you’ll be amazed at what you find

This is going to sound pretty froofy… Is froofy a real word? Doesn’t matter, I’m using it. This is going to sound pretty froofy and if you know me at all, you know I’m a very not-froofy person, but here goes:

How often do you look for joy? (See? Totally froofy).

But seriously, how often do you actively look for things that make you happy as opposed to things that are easy to complain about? As you know, it makes me cranky to no end to see neighbours who share a lawn and one half of the lawn is lush and manicured and the other is dead and brown. Why doesn’t the one neighbour just do the whole lawn? Clearly they like working on the lawn. Anyway, I could complain about that for days. I also hate traffic. When my kids knock over the basket, I don’t like re-folding the laundry I have already folded once. I could go on and on about stupid stuff like that.

But one thing I’ve learned over the last few years is to seek out joy in the everyday stuff. It’s a slight miracle given I’m hard-wired to be a negative thinker. But seeing the world through the eyes of a child makes it pretty easy to notice the wonder in things.

Since having a son, pretty much any construction or emergency vehicle has provided us with joy. Bonus points if there are flashing lights involved. Same goes for construction sites. Cranes are a real hit. Don’t get me started on our fascination with fire trucks — ladder trucks specifically. It picks me up because he gets such a kick out of it.

We also like puddles and nature — both equally fascinating and messy, and we love to keep our eyes open for what we call “wacky waving arms”: the blow-up tube-like characters at various car lots around town. I get a kick out of the white hummingbird in our yard, as you know. And I grin like an idiot when there’s mail in the mailbox. Not flyers or bills though, but, actual mail. Other simple pleasures I love include: a good sale on groceries, brand new socks that are still fuzzy inside, a sweaty workout, a hot coffee first thing in the morning and a warm cup of tea before bed. I love my now-too-big sweatpants and my worn out 20-year-old t-shirts and I don’t care who it bothers. No, Mom, not even you.

None of these things are epic. But they all give me joy and every day I seek them out, or things like them, because when those fleeting moments of happiness are pasted together, one after the other, over time, you can look back on even the most standard of days and say, hey, that was a pretty great one.

And who doesn’t need more pretty great days?

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