In a sea of overwhelming stress, anxiety, and negativity, sometimes all you need is ONE THING to be your life preserver: a pet, an online friend, a Youtube channel, or a friendly acquaintance at the library. So if you're feeling lost and lonely, consider what gets you out of bed every morning - it might help give you some new perspective and a deeper appreciation of the little things in life. This r/AskReddit thread asked this of its users, and it serves as a good reminder that little things can have a big effect.
When I tell the dog "Let's go outside" and he prances ten feet, stops to make sure I'm really following him, runs to the door, and spins in a circle because life is great.
I generally struggle to find the motivation to get up and go to the library to get some writing done. When I do go, I'm usually there for about six hours or so, but getting that first push to get out of the house -- especially in winter -- isn't easy.
There's an older lady there (in her sixties for sure; maybe early seventies, but definitely retired) who's doing her MA in English Literature and occasionally sits at the same work table as me. She's there from about 2-5pm most days, and for the past two weeks we've started talking about stuff. Sometimes it's her course -- I did an MA in English and used to tutor, so she asks me about stuff or for advice on her essays -- and other times it's just shooting the shit for ten minutes before we both get down to work.
I've started making sure I go to the library early and more regularly just to make sure I get an opportunity to chat with her when she arrives. I really look forward to it now. Writing is a solitary sort of a job, but it's nice to have a friendly face at what amounts to the office -- plus I'm now spending more time at the library because I'm getting there earlier, which is boosting my weekly word count. Win-win, as far as I can see. I don't know about 'meaning', exactly, but it's definitely something that makes my days a bit brighter.
I have small barn with our twelve chickens- Every time, I close them up, I count them off, to make sure everyone is accounted for. We've had problems with raccoon and raptors attacking over time, and it's a huge relief when I get to twelve.
When I'm counting, which I do out loud, in a soft voice, several of the chickens look at me, as if to say, we are trying to sleep here, leave us be. I check for eggs, check to make sure they have enough water and feed.
'goodnight, girls,' I say quietly,' we love you.' I turn out the light and hear soft clucking noises as I head out the door. Simultaneously very human they seem to me, and very much like chickens.
When my new kitten wakes up and sees me. She doesn't have a proper meow yet, she sort of chirrups.
There are lots of things but I think the most specific one is my "alone time" with my son. He hasn't been born yet, but every night after his mom has fallen asleep, I gently put my hand on him and give 3 little "I love you" pats and he almost always gives me a kick or two back.
It's probably because I'm irritating him in his sleep, but he's going to be waking me up every night for who knows how long pretty soon. So too bad kiddo.
Scratching a specific spot on my dogs lower back. Whenever I scratch that spot he looks at me all wide-eyed and flabbergasted like "WOW WHAT IS THIS AMAZING SENSATION HUMAN YOU ARE A GOD" and I can't help but smile
Feeling genuine emotion. Everything felt so meh for so long and now i find myself laughing more and getting more emotional about things. Its a good feeling
Eating freshly peeled mangos like they're apples. None of that cutting off chunks garbage. Chomp down on that sucker and let the juice roll down your face. Sure you might need to shower afterwards but it's the purest sense of joy I consistently experience.
Taking care of my fish tank. I have a weird assortment of fish because I always try to get the ugliest, most picked-on one at the store and bring it home and nurse it back to health. Watching the color come back into them, their fins healing, and the way they get excited when you're nearby because they think they're going to be fed.
There's something so soothing about it. My little underwater garden. These are animals that get the short end of the stick in society, and showing love to these tiny inconsequential creatures makes me feel good. I have one feeder guppy I found almost-dead, caught in the filters at work and now he's happier than ever. It's great.
I am close to the end of a long military career. I made the rank i wanted to. I have nothing else to work for, and just riding my last 2 years out.
I help, train and mentor folks. I push people forward and help them succeed. I dont need to, or have to. I just enjoy helping kids that are just starting out.
Spreading positivity while online gaming. Lifting up your teammates when they do something bad or getting on to someone when they insult someone else. We're all here to have some fun and let off steam. Don't go and ruin that for us.
I volunteer at something like a suicide hotline, I like to call it a "just-short-of-suicide-hotline". I don't have a background in social work - training was provided. It's not a suicide hotline, they're typically called crisis or distress hotlines.
Mainly it involves listening. Listening to people who are sad, lonely, depressed, or facing something challenging.
Sometimes I have doubts about school and my career, I feel like I've taken on a lot. But with volunteering, there's no hesitation - I feel like I'm helping people get through tough days. On one or two occasions I really believe I helped people who were considering suicide just by listening and letting them know how they felt mattered.
And sometimes I'll do something as simple as help someone with anxiety take a deep breath, or remind someone with depression that they should eat something and take their medication - little things to help people cope.
After exams I'm going to be volunteering more for the season because I quit my job. I'm looking forward to it.
For some reason, giving extremely generous tips always makes me happy. I ain't rich or anything, but I always make sure to give no less than a 50% tip, whether it's a waiter or a hair cutter. They don't get tipped enough so I guess it's my way of making it up for them. It's a small thing, but it really makes my life seem a lot brighter.