In our lives we’re too often focused on the big things: savings, retirement, jobs, houses, vehicles, finding the right one to marry, etc. We can and do miss the little things. However, the little things matter. They matter an awful lot more than we give them credit for.
This past weekend I dropped off my wife and daughters so they could attend a birthday party. My boys and I spent the afternoon geocaching and we trekked through a suburban shopping center and into a bit of wilderness near by, all in 100 degree weather. We love to go geocaching and the boys and I have found that it’s a great bonding experience. All in all we had our best day geocaching ever, knocking out 10 geocaches, including 3 found earlier in the day when the girls were with us. But that wasn’t the best part.
The best part, I think, was when we went back to that suburban shopping center hot and thirsty looking for refreshment. We stopped at a place known mainly for cookies and ice cream because I remembered that they had Icee treats. The boys and I ordered our cool refreshments and then got back into the van to go get the girls. The Icee treats were naturally a big, big hit.
Why do I think that the Icee drinks were the best part? Quite simply, when both boys separately told me what a wonderful day they had, the Icee was mentioned first. I had some left over when we got the girls and I gave it to my 7 year-old daughter. At the end of the day, birthday party included, the thing she talked about the most was the Icee. She didn’t get a full one yet it was the highlight of her day. If you had asked me when the day begun would I have ever thought an Icee would make that much of an impact, I would have said, “No.” If you had asked me after ordering and receiving the Icee treats if I thought they would be the highlights of the day, I would have responded the same way.
Don’t get so caught up in the big things that you miss or overlook the little things. Even worse, don’t become so consumed with big goals and big dreams and big objectives that you neglect the little ones. If you do, you’ll likely find that some little one was really a big one in disguise. That day I just described it was that Icee, which represented the star on top of the Christmas tree, the finishing touch to a great day. It could be anything.
It could be a brief conversation with someone you don’t know that well which leads to a lifelong friendship. It could be offering a helping hand to a neighbor who returns the favor when tragedy strikes in your life. It could be a memory you’ll retain forever of watching your daughter splash in a $5 pool bought at a local big box store. These are all examples of how little things are really big things. Don’t neglect the little things.