Over this past summer, my 5-year-old grandson spent a week with us. It has been a while since I’ve had a 5-year-old around, and I appreciate the things I learned from him that week.
Five-year-olds find joy in the simplest of things. How nice it was to be reminded of simply joy in my own life.
My grandson was thrilled with cracking his own egg for breakfast for the first time. What a simple thing to find joy in. It reminded me to seek for joy in other simple tasks, such as gathering our own farm-fresh eggs. What a wonderful things to live in a place where I can have my own chickens and eggs. What a wonderful thing that I don’t have to have my own chickens and eggs to survive. What a joyful blessing to live in a nation where chickens and eggs are readily available at the local grocery store, and at less cost than the home-grown variety!
On a walk through the woods, my five-year-old grandson found an empty turtle shell. What joy! It might as well have been a lump of gold. What a simple thing to find joy in. What if we more actively sought out joy in the simple things around us?
Had I been alone in the woods that day, I would have walked right past that turtle shell, thinking it dirty and useless (if I even noticed it.) How many other simple things in life do I walk past without a second thought? Simple things that might bring me joy if I only gave them a moment’s attention. Things that, if I could get over fear of touching something dead and dirty, would give me a memory, if nothing else.
Sometimes I stand in the cereal aisle of the grocery store and am amazed at the choices. A simple plate of cookies to an elderly person might yield an evening full of hands-on history. Have you ever flipped a light switch and had any doubt that a light would appear? What a simple thing a light bulb can be. It is important to step back, sometimes, and seek joy in these simple things. A five year old with a turtle shell taught me that.
My husband and I took that little five-year-old to the creek. That’s a pretty simple thing. But it turned out to be a pretty scary thing to a little boy who had never stood on slippery rocks, in a cold stream, with fish and crawdads competing for his toes.
Sometimes it is a challenge to find joy in simple things. Sometimes, fear needs to be overcome, usually fear of the unknown. I always thought I would find joy in writing, but I was afraid to try. One day, I forced myself to overcome my fear, fear that I would fail, that no one would buy my articles. Guess what? Now people buy my articles! The fear seemed silly, like a simple thing to overcome. In reality, it was simple, not easy, but simple. And now that it’s been overcome, my writing brings me joy.
Follow the example of a five-year-old and try something new. It might be a simple thing, but it will likely bring joy. Take a class, study a new subject, take on a new hobby, change careers. If a five-year-old can find joy in simple things, so can we.