These are the moments that make life worth living.
Earlier in the week, Vicky Phelan wrote about enjoying the little things. She spent the day with her son, doing simple things like helping him with homework and playing Wordle. It wasn't anything grand or exciting. There was no lavish setting or fancy event. It was simple. It was home. It was what matters most.
Her words helped me realise that these little, everyday moments are what make life worth living. They may seem mundane to some or quiet compared to things like weddings or luxurious trips away, but I believe these moments are the ones that make our hearts full. They're the ones we think of when times are tough and when we're struggling to hold on. A couple of years ago my mental health dwindled. There was very little light or hope to cling onto. But someone very special to me reminded me that sometimes all you need to do is wake up in the morning, smile, put on some music, and be grateful you have another day ahead of you. On the days when everything felt bleak and hopeless, I clung to little memories. They helped me hold my head up when it felt like the weight of the world was on my shoulders. They gave me an ounce of hope, strength, and a better perspective.
"A couple of years ago my mental health dwindled. There was very little light or hope to cling onto"
Little memories like hearing my Mam sing along to her Alfie Boe CD in the kitchen or bumping into my Grandad on one of his daily walks. Getting letters from pen pals across the globe, seeing daffodils blooming on the road outside my old school, drinking a fresh cup of coffee from my favourite local cafe. Sitting with my Nanny and drinking milky cups of tea, seeing my little cousin waddle around the house, and laughing with my Dad over the episode of Father Ted we've watched a dozen times before. It's moments like walking through the city with your best friend, chatting about little things. Or watching the same rom-com with your sisters in the house you grew up in. It's singing along to your favourite songs in your best friend's car.
It's hugging your grandparents. Or when you read a book you love over and over again. It's hearing a song that brings back a thousand memories on the radio. It's these little moments that make life matter. These moments help me see through the dark days and move on to better ones.
It is so easy to feel like you don't have enough. We are so guilty of comparing ourselves to others, especially when Instagram exposes us to so many highlights of other people's lives. We all know it is just a highlights reel, but sometimes it feels impossible to ignore. The self-doubt and worries can creep in. You worry about not seeing enough of the world or not owning your own house or not getting promoted. But what I now do in these moments is take a step back and remind myself that life isn't always about those major moments. Sometimes the little ones mean the most like your pet greeting you when you come home or finding a bunch of tulips on sale in Aldi.
"It's hugging your grandparents. It's reading a book you live over and over again"
We can all agree that we're feeling a little drained after two years of a pandemic, never-ending bad news, and haunting stories weighing down on our shoulders, but we have the tools to push these dark clouds out. Don't let tension, anger, or darkness take over. Use these little moments to push them out as much as you can. They may not feel special at first, but trust me when I say they're so much more powerful than you think. Nowadays, when life seems a little too much I think back to one of these little memories like seeing my Nanny dancing in my room to Fleetwood Mac or bumping into my old primary school teacher in Tesco.
Vicky Phelan has helped me see that we don't need lives full of thrilling adventures and momentous occasions. What makes life so rich and valuable are these moments that may be small and simple, but are the ones that truly matter the most. And for that, I will be forever grateful.