Some people believe that simplicity means sacrifice. They can’t understand: Who would intentionally strive to have less and do less when there’s so much we can obtain in the world today?
Sometimes, I struggle to sit still and write at my desk because I want to get out in the world. I don’t want to charge out my door with a to-do list that’s a mile long, though. I want to meander with my son and bend over to examine the flowers blooming down the road.
The irony is that people who strive to live more simplistic lives seldom feel like we’re doing without. In fact, we often feel more joy and gratitude because we learn to recognize the liberating difference between too much and just right. I’m on a constant quest to find that perfect balance, and believe me—with a very active little boy and all the responsibilities of work and motherhood, it’s a never-ending endeavor!
Through my research as a storycatcher and children’s journal author, I’ve observed a lot of people celebrating and struggling with life, often at the same time. Part of my job is to lean into folks’ experiences and recognize the patterns that bring us down and the pleasures that pick us up, so that I can create richer, more fulfilling prompt journals.
Regardless the busyness or struggles we all face, I’ve observed a prevalent trend:
The happiest people—the folks with the deepest sense of self-love and purpose—always notice everyday moments. It doesn’t matter how complicated their lives get.
They always weave time into their day to welcome the simplest pleasures.
I’ve compiled a list of 22 little things every woman can benefit from in her life. Do any of us need to have all of these things all the time? Of course not.
But read through this list and see what’s already a part of your life. By consciously noticing details and making time for them in our everyday life, we discover gratitude for what we already have.
You may also look at this list and see reminders of what you could add or adjust, especially as we approach a new season. The important thing is that you just celebrate because some of these things (like a bra that fits well!) are certainly victories.
- A secret spot in the house for chocolate.
- A bra that fits.
- A sharp pair of scissors, potentially also kept in a secret spot so they never vanish or get mis-used and dulled when you most need them.
- A favorite nonprofit to give time or money.
- A small but great collection of stationery—fun cards, sympathy cards, birthday cards, postcards, extra envelopes, and stamps.
- A signature pen.
- A little confidence boosting lipgloss, nail polish, necklace, or other luxury that takes just a moment to apply.
- A movie you’ve seen so many times you can quote half.
- A really good kitchen knife. (In As Always, Julia, Julia Child wrote it’s everything a woman needs.)
- A subscription to something that arrives at your door—magazine, clothes, coffee of the month, or even dish detergent and diapers.
- A dress you love.
- A cute (and current!) photograph of you.
- A mother son journal or mother daughter journal.
- A favorite morning drink, preferably with a favorite mug that is only yours.
- A friend you can call and a friend who knows she can call you.
- A fun nicknack, quote, comic, or postcard taped behind the cupboard door or in the pantry.
- A hardback copy of your favorite book.
- A go-to restaurant or easy meal when you just need a break from the kitchen.
- Fresh flowers—in the house or somewhere along your commute outside.
- A pay-it-forward moment, like buying a stranger coffee, leaving cash in your neighbor’s mailbox, or giving a bag of groceries to the food pantry on the way home.
- Comfortable shoes that never give you blisters. (Tsh loves the Merrell brand)
- A few minutes to yourself.