June 27, 2013 in Washington Voices

Front Porch: Little things shine bright this dark day

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Discouraged. Disheartened. Disappointed.

Those three D’s dogged me like an annoying kid brother tagging along, uninvited.

It was one of those days. The kind that starts with an empty coffee pot because you overslept and everyone else didn’t.

The kind that continues with the first email you read being a resounding “no” to a request you thought reasonable.

The kind of day where every train crossing you encounter actually features a train crossing and every light you approach turns red.

While waiting for yet another train to pass, I scrounged around in my purse looking for my reporter’s notebook, only to discover I’d left it by the front door when I grabbed my keys.

Of course.

My wet toes squelched in my sandals as I sloshed through the puddles dotting our driveway. At the first sign of spring I’d tossed my close-toed shoes to the back of the closet. Consequently, I’d had damp feet for most of the week.

Since I had to return home to fetch my notebook, I thought I’d better dig through my closet for more sensible shoes.

And then I saw them. Two pairs of black eyes winking at me. Ahh … my fluffy pink bunny slippers with the floppy satin-trimmed ears. Smiling, I slipped my sodden toes into their comfy confines. Immediately, I felt better.

Such a little thing.

Reaching down to toss my sandals into the closet, my bracelet slid down my arm, its sparkling faux gems glinting in the overhead light. I’d bought the bracelet while on an anniversary trip with my husband. Its cheery bling brought happy memories.

Another little thing.

I decided to take the time to brew a small pot of coffee. The gurgling and bubbling of my ruby red coffee maker sounded like a happy song. I pulled my Wonder Woman mug from the rack and poured myself a cup. I didn’t feel much like Wonder Woman, but my boys had bought me the mug as a birthday gift, and sipping hot java from the quirky cup warmed both my body and my soul.

Just a little thing.

Reluctantly, I shucked the bunny slippers and donned more appropriate footwear. My cat Milo watched the process with interest. “Meow?” he asked.

“Meow,” I replied.

He put both paws on my knee and earnestly launched into a lengthy story, punctuated by purring, rumbling and a few “yows.”

Cat conversations make me smile.

A silly, little thing.

Paging through my calendar with Milo tucked under my arm, I saw I had lunch with a friend penciled in at noon. When I lunch with this friend we spend as much time laughing as we do talking and eating, and I always return to work smiling.

Something to look forward to – a little thing.

I spent the rest of that gloomy, rainy day mindful of the small things that deliver such a lift. A witty text from a friend, a rousing round of Uno with my family, a warm hug from my son Sam.

It didn’t change the disappointing response to my email. It didn’t enable me to time travel to get the first cup of coffee that morning and it didn’t prevent traffic lights from turning red.

But little things that bring joy are powerful when you notice them. They banish the three D’s and quickly add up to become the big things – the things that really matter.

Contact Cindy Hval at dchval@juno.com. Her previous columns are available online at spokesman.com/columnists. Follow her on Twitter at @CindyHval.

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