All the small things

Last week’s post was inspired by a song from 1990. This week I’m jumping to the other end of the decade – 1999, the year the world was going to fall apart due to the Y2K bug, ruining the opportunity to ‘party like it’s 1999’ (which Prince had been encouraging us to do, like, for-eva). And, of course, my husband and I married that year (as I’ve shared in a previous post). So a SOMEWHAT significant year, in my opinion.

959165969458E59F7A5D9E3E2FF93A06Blink 182 (they look so young, and, you know, healthy. Wow. Times have changed)

All The Small Things is one of the few songs, along with What’s my age again?, that I know from Blink 182, but it’s a good one (in case you’ve forgotten it, have a listen and see what you think). I was reminded of them when I saw they were currently going through an acrimonious band break up (and I didn’t even realise they were still together – so clearly not a big fan). But let’s not dwell on that – the title inspired me to look at the positive, small things in life.

It’s really easy to get caught up in negativity – I find this to be true, anyway. We just have to look at the last week in politics, the imminent execution of the Bali drug smugglers, or even whether Mr ‘Bruce Jenner’ (part of the Kardashian family) is in the process of a sex change to see this (on this last point – really, is it anyone’s business – and why does this family attract so much attention? Weird … getting off topic though).

I find that, by getting caught up in all of this, it’s too easy to forget to celebrate the simple pleasures in life, at least. And I like the idea from this quote that ‘All the little in life are, in fact, the big things’. So in that light, I’m sharing some seemingly small things that brought happiness to my week. I’d love to hear yours, too! wonders of a hot shower and some good stretches

I’ve got to be honest, I’m not a big fan of stretching. I do some half hearted ones occasionally but not long enough to have enough impact (it’s kind of boring – and I really feel I should be doing something else – maybe folding washing? Yep, THAT boring). Unsurprisingly, I am stiffening up in my old age.

However, I’m currently in the midst of training as part of a team of four for an Oxfam Trailwalker event, a 100km walk through the hills on the outskirts of Melbourne in mid April. And yes, we all have to walk the full distance. So we’re spending a lot of time walking up and down hills. Oh, how my lower back and glutes are stiffening! And oh, the wonders of a good stretch that actually hits the spot! (particularly followed by a nice warm shower – ahhh).

I’ve now discovered a whole set of stretches that I am carefully testing – it is much easier to know you are getting them right with a youtube clip than a printed page. Have a look (subject to advice from a specialist – I’ve checked these with my osteopath, see below).

Massage and manipulation – neck movement restored!

No doubt related to the lack of stretching mentioned above, but I woke on Friday unable to turn my neck to the left. Greaaat. But how good is a great massage and manipulation from a good osteopath? I could look sideways again! Drive safely! Actually sleep and recover! So excited (and off to have a second round this afternoon, as well as learn some better exercises for on going neck movement).

The generosity of people

Yes, it’s been all about Oxfam so far (it really is occupying a sizable part of my life, to be fair) but this is the last point in relation to this. We have been so grateful for the verbal and active support of friends and family, the donations we have received, and the success of our first fundraiser. We’re now well above our minimum amount required to participate, and so any extra is a bonus to support people in need. How good is that? (and if you would like to see more about our team, here’s our link – I’m the shortest one in the team photo, which is generally the case. hmm).

Lessons on life from friends

Lovely friends and family, generously welcoming us into their home, or enabling other family members to live with them for an extended period until they are back on their feet, have been setting such a wonderful example of hospitality.

This was brought home at a dear friend’s 40th birthday party on Saturday (I will not name names, as she would be embarrassed), but her party represented so many people she has embraced and welcomed and, in many ways, built up emotionally due to her kindness and care.

There are lots of kind people out there – we need to celebrate them!

The taste of real food

Fruit and veggies from my garden! Finally, after many years of trying, I have managed to grow something more than herbs (because for once, I haven’t forgotten to feed and water them). Fresh apples. Ripe tomatoes. The occasional strawberry. And also, lettuce, zucchini and spinach.

While not quite self sufficient (actually, we’re a long way from that), but it is both rewarding, easy to access when we are preparing meals, and actually quite tasty to eat food directly picked. Yay!

This insight into the talents of dogs

We love our dog – she is the best (in our humble and completely unbiased opinion!) But, reading this, I realise all dogs are pretty amazing – and probably other animals too but I will stick with dogs this week. Check this Ted talk out – wow!

Back to school

Although I love holidays – particularly if I am on them – when I am working for all but one week of them, they can be challenging. And the kids love them – but by the end, they are getting a little ratty. So (while they may not agree if I asked them), Al, the kids and I have been very glad to see the start of the new school year (playdates are ramping up at a rapid rate too – so lovely to see them all back together).

The world that books open up

Back to school (woo hoo – have I already said that?), also brings back our routines for reading.

I have been charmed by some insights in a couple of books I have read lately, which I am still digesting (I will write about these in a little while). I am reassured that all this reading is doing me good too – by reading about these benefits from fiction.

I also read a chapter or two of the books each child is reading most nights before they read a bit more by themselves (in theory – Phoebe has not actually read a word yet by herself of her current book. Still).

While ‘Ratburger’ – Phoebe’s book of choice – is fairly (and intentionally) gross and also sad, Sam is streaming through the second to last of the How to Train Your Dragon Series. I must say, it’s a brilliant series ( a fair bit different to the movies). So much insight and understanding of the reasons behind people’s motivations – kind, scared, heroic, cruel, or bullying, all couched in heaps of humour, dragon warfare, and snot (and the like). Pitch perfect, I reckon. We are both loving them (and anxiously wait for the final book to be written and published later this year).


All the small things of my week – all in all, a pretty good one.

How about you? What are the little things that make big positive differences in your life? (and what song title do you think should be my inspiration for next week?)


8 thoughts on “All the small things

  1. You have one amazing brain to have all this going on in there, Helen! And you are SO right – if you’re able to recognise and celebrate the little things, it makes life so much more exciting. I had the cutest little three year old boy in my rooms today who just made me laugh with his quirkiness.
    If it’s me you were talking about in this blog, thank you. I hadn’t seen it from that angle. I’m just so grateful for the influence that group has had on my life… So glad your neck is feeling better.
    Looking forward to Saturday’s walk.


  2. Thanks Ils! (and yes it was you!) How lovely to have great patients too – good to hear today went well. See you Saturday – 35 degrees, lots of hills, more than 30km – what could be better??? (being positive 🙂 )


  3. Ooh, I like thinking about the small things. The little things that make a positive difference in my life? My kids getting along well most of the time. Ice cream. Warm showers. Writing. Music. And SLEEEEEEP.


  4. Ahh yes, all of these (particularly sleep – I’m looking forward to that, maybe after just a little more chocolate icecream now)! But as for you – loved your rhyme, and to read that your little hawker duckies both came back, having had great times. Enjoy this new stage of life!


  5. Hot showers are easily my #1 simplest pleasure. They have gotten me through so many tough times!! And actually – books too. When I was at my most stressed and unhappy a long hot shower before bed + 1 hour of reading … so very good for the soul. It’s why I could never be on Survivor!


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