Several years ago, my principal sent a video to the faculty to help us start the day with a smile. The video was a simple one in which a baby is sitting up and is being handed pieces of paper. The baby would tear the paper and then laugh with such glee that you can't help but join in. I've watched the video hundreds of times over the years and I still love it. The baby finds such joy in something as commonplace as ripping paper. I have watched my son find the same simple pleasure with scissors and paper. He can spend long periods of time making cuts in pieces of paper with a pair of scissors. He loves it. It actually became a problem. We had to lock up the scissors in the house so he wouldn't cut up all the paper in the house! I watched the video of the baby today and thought about the joy my son can find in cutting paper. Have we lost that ability to find simple pleasure like that as we've become adults? I will go ahead and answer that question. We can certainly still find the simple pleasures as adults. Two words: bubble wrap. I have had to separate some friends when they were arguing over who was going to get the bubble wrap from a package. For me, it is the perforated spiral-bound notebook paper. Whenever students turn in assignments with that perforated paper, I can't not tear off the ragged edge at the perforation. I don't know why I enjoy that, but I do. Yes, we adults can still find the simple pleasures.
What I think that we can't find is appreciation of those simple pleasures. Sure, we will pop the bubble wrap or tear off the ragged edge of the paper or dissolve the Styrofoam peanuts or whatever brings you that simple pleasure. What we no longer seem to be able to do as adults is carry the joy from that action beyond the moment. We can pop those bubbles and feel that stress relief, but then we step right back into our office or get out our phone and turn the stress meter right back up. I am as guilty, if not more guilty, than most. I'm not like my son who can walk away from cutting a piece of paper with a big smile on my face. Even when I am finding some joy in a simple action, I often don't allow that joy to take control of my emotions enough to smile. I think that we all miss out because of this.
Grab a piece of paper and some scissors. Mix some baking soda and vinegar. Draw a funny stick figure. Whatever it is you do, don't be like me. Let that joy show on your face. Giggle like that baby and make your day, and the day of everyone around you, that much better.
Here is a video similar to the one I mentioned. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RP4abiHdQpc
Why not watch it and then share what your simple pleasure is?