Finding Joy in the Little Things

The world certainly has changed since January 2020. At the current moment, a global pandemic is affecting lives around the globe. There are scary and sad things going on, which I don’t think I need to list nor discuss.

What I want to focus on is the slower pace of life that self-distancing/stay-at-home has given many of us. Personally, many of my perspectives have changed – likely forever.

Daisies for joy

The busyness of life can keep our minds focused on current events, our next social engagement, work, our to-do list, our next vacation…. and the list goes on.

I don’t consider myself overly materialistic, and I believe I’ve recently become even less so. Yes, I hope to some day soon travel and go out with friends again (to name a few things). Yet going back to the basics with our lifestyle has given me lots of thinking time.

If there’s one thing that this world “pause” has made vividly clear to me, it’s that I can find joy in so many small things that are right in front of me. The forced slowing down has given me the time to become aware of these small things that bring me joy.

There is joy to be found in the simple moments. Slowing down enough to recognize those little joys is helping me live a more fulfilled life.

Joy is a Choice


Whether it’s internal negative self-talk or finding the worst in any given situation, we all have some negative thoughts.

Purposely seeking little joys can help you take your power back from that type of thinking and not get stuck in a fear-based mindset.

If you haven’t given it much thought, I invite you to kick back and take some time to really think about what brings you joy.

Or, maybe there are things that could bring you joy if you took the time to incorporate them into your life.

50 Little Things that Bring Big Joy

This list is what brings ME joy, and my intent is to help you think about things in your life that bring YOU joy.

With no further ado, here’s my list.

  1. A surprise call from one of my grown children.
  2. My dogs spewing joy as I walk into the house – possibly after having only been gone 5 minutes.
  3. A relaxing, warm shower with my brain put on silence mode. (This is when the best ideas come to me!)
  4. Climbing into crisp, clean bed linens.
  5. Writing messages and drawing simple images with sidewalk chalk to spread cheer.
  6. Laughing. Any laugh is good but I especially love those deep down belly laughs that I physically feel in my stomach.
  7. The smell of coffee brewing in the morning. And cookies or bread baking in the oven. Mmmmm.
  8. Sipping wine with friends. Even more joy when it’s outside on a beautiful day.
  9. Seeing a small child fishing on a dock. This makes my list because it happened yesterday and that precious little girl explaining that the fish were all gone warmed my heart. (It was not for lack of grandma and grandpa’s efforts!)
  10. A slow boat ride along the shoreline so I can see all the trees, stumps, rocks, beaches, interesting old structures, etc.
  11. The sound of children playing.
  12. A good, old fashion nap. (I like to say naps are one of life’s best luxuries.)
  13. Video calling a friend who I otherwise would seldom see.
  14. Really good chocolate melting in my mouth. Yummmmmmm.
  15. Being in a crowd feeling like I know nobody, when an old friend surprisingly appears with a big smile and hug.
  16. Having a relaxing time talking, laughing, and truly enjoying the company of another.
  17. When my husband is watching tv by himself and suddenly bursts out a big ol’ laugh. (Makes me smile every time.)
  18. Dancing. I don’t care if it’s on a crowded wedding dance floor or in my own living room by myself. It lifts my mood and brings me joy.
  19. Music. Especially when I can just kick back and let it touch my soul.
  20. The sound of the snap when opening a soda can. This used to be a morning ritual. I now only have 1 or 2 cans per month, yet I still enjoy that snap!
  21. The feeling of accomplishment after a decorating project (big or small) that makes our home a touch more beautiful.
  22. The first drive in my Camaro after getting it out of storage after a long winter.
  23. Finding money in a pocket.
  24. Receiving a surprise text message from someone who messaged just because they were thinking about me.
  25. A store clerk who goes out of their way to help me and does so with a cheerful heart.
  26. The first robin spotted of the season.
  27. The first tulip seen in spring. (Daffodils are a close second.)
  28. Two squirrels playing – chasing each other up and down trees.
  29. Deer in my yard – I will never tire of watching them!
  30. Seeing a beautifully spotted fawn who can’t yet even walk! (Only happened once but to this day the memory still brings me joy.)
  31. The calmness felt after meditating.
  32. The huge snowflakes during the first blizzard of the year. (Not so much during the tenth blizzard, but that first one is beautiful!)
  33. Suddenly repeatedly seeing numbers like 111, 444, or 555. I believe they’re messages from my angels and they come at the most amazing times!
  34. Looking through old photographs that spark good memories.
  35. My beautician styling my hair.
  36. Feeling the warmth of the sun during winter.
  37. A good dream. I recently had a few dreams where my children were young. I could even hear their young voices! Speaking of dreams, I also had a wonderful dream about my dog who passed away last year. I held him and was ecstatic to see him!
  38. A good wine glass that is the perfect size and shape, and feels just right in my hand.
  39. Watching a lake, preferably while sitting on a swinging bench.
  40. A good book or movie that completely absorbs my attention.
  41. An incredible idea that mysteriously comes to me when I least expect it. It’s like I hear a DING!
  42. Walking in the rain on a warm summer day and in beautiful spring weather.
  43. Closing a door and hearing nothing. That’s after my husband oiled the squeaky door.
  44. A clean, organized closet or drawer.
  45. A guiltless, lazy day – taken on purpose as a gift to myself.
  46. Comfy slippers.
  47. Finding that “thing” after not knowing where it was for months.
  48. When the days get longer in the summer season.
  49. A walk in nature.
  50. An afternoon cup of tea in my very favorite tea cup.

Slow Down & Become Aware of Unnoticed Joys

If you are so inclined, feel free to commit right now to becoming aware of the possibly unnoticed joys in your life. Start by commenting below with 1, 3 or 50 little things in your life that bring you joy!

Your awareness will grow and you’ll start to find more little joys to embrace and enjoy. The little things all add up, so wait no more!

Enjoy Photos from my Joys

As you can see, I take many photos while on my daily walks. We live in the middle of nature and it brings me joy to capture so much natural beauty. I could also fill this page with family photos. Here’s a sampling!

Beautiful northwoods of Wisconsin
A place I sometimes see when I walk off the road on a “super secret” path.
Enjoying boating on a lake
I love boating season!
Beautiful creek
Isn’t this creek (river??) pretty?
Spring daffodil
Nothing like daffodils to let you know spring is here!
Gorgeous fall colors in trees
Fall is a beautiful time of the year. Love the colors!
Dog playing ball
Play ball!
A smiling dog
Who says dogs don’t smile?
Horses grazing in a field
I love to stop and gawk at this field of horses.
Dock on a lake
“Sittin’ on the dock of the bay.”
Beautiful path in nature
I’m so blessed to have this in my back yard!
Sunset behind a large tree
This sunset viewed through the tree was quite the eye candy.
Looking up at tall trees
Look up! Thanks to the trees who grew for years for me to enjoy this view.
Water rolling through rocks brings joy
Melting snow creates fun running water views!
Joyful bay of water surrounded by trees
Another view that captured my attention during a daily walk.
Joy of hoarfrost
Winter isn’t my favorite season but it does provide beautiful views. Especially when there is a hoarfrost.
Family at a Packer game
Me with my children who I love to hear from! (My daughter Jamie, her husband Jim, and my son Christopher). Looking forward to when we can cheer on the Packers togehter.
Joy of family
My step son (Nick), son (Chris), and my husband (Ray). The joy of a family vacation, something I hope to do again soon!
Ellen Burgan by her Camaro that brings joy
Nothing like the wind blowing in my hair – especially after a long, cold winter!

Start today – go out and find joy in the little things in life!

10 Replies to “Finding Joy in the Little Things”

  1. Really good to be reminded of all the joy around us. It is hard for me sometimes to be distanced from people, and I can’t even imagine what it’s like for the medical professionals. Time to be grateful for all the little joys!

    1. Oh yes, I’m so grateful for doctors and nurses! And everyone else it takes to make a hospital run. Thanks for the comment. 😀

  2. Your list is similar to mine … especially number one! Actually, a surprise visit from one of my grown up children is my biggest joy – although that can’t happen at the moment! 😊

    1. Truth! We’ve been having family Zoom visits, so I’m thankful we can at least see them virtually. I, too, am looking forward to an in-person hug and visit!

  3. I needed this today. While I love Zoom meetings, it some times make me wanting more. I am so thankful for my large family and large group of friends and being able to keep in contact by phone, email, text messages, facebook and Zoom meetings. I truly miss being in physical contact with all these great people. I can’t wait until we are all healthy and able to get back together. I am so fortunate to live in an area where I can hike and bike and looking forward to getting in my kayak. This slow down has gotten me back to quilting. It is great to create something.

    1. I hear you, Zoom meetings are a good filler while we can’t be in-person. I also look forward to the day we can all safely be back together again in-person! For now let’s keep hiking and zooming, and appreciate that we have those going for us! I’m glad you are reunited with quilting – got back to an old joy!

  4. I love seeing butterflies flitting above the flowers in summer. I love seeing the dragonflies zipping around seeing the sun reflect rainbow colors off their wings.
    I enjoy seeing the hummingbirds fight over claiming their territory at the feeders.
    I love watching the wrens building their nest and calling for a mate to come live in their new nest. Watching them trying to get a too long stick into the small hole in their house is entertaining.

    1. And reading your joys just brought me soooo much joy! Thank you so much for sharing those wonderful things that nature gifts us… and for making my day. 😀

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