One of the most important concepts of Simple Abundance is identifying happiness and finding it in the mundane things of life. How can the mundane make you happy you might ask? Let’s face it, how many of us are going to win the lottery or marry Prince Charming and even if we did there would be no guarantee of happiness. We have the life of Princess Dianna as living/dying proof that there are no fairytale endings. We have to make our own “happily ever after” and stop looking for it from without.
Unless terribly, terribly mentally ill, we each possess the potential for happiness if we will only have eyes to see it and ears to hear it. When I first began reading Simple Abundance about 10 years ago I began to look for little ways of pleasing myself. As women we are good at pleasing children, spouses and parents, but oft times do not take near the care of ourselves as we do others. We are taught from the cradle to be selfless.
I’m not talking about becoming “the worst girlfriend in the world” ala Almost Live. I’m talking about doing little things that please our heart and refresh our soul. Breathnach talks about taking time to artfully arrange flowers. My thing is purple.
Anyone who has known me long enough will realize that since about 1972 I have been passionate about purple in its myriad shades. It looks good on me and I realized it early on. Moreover, I enjoy looking at it on others and other things. And so I gradually have surrounded myself with shades of purple. I did not go out one day and decide to replace everything I own with purple, but as I’ve found things I’ve acquired them and many have been given to me.
I work as a Special Education Paraeducator which is a fancy word for “teacher’s assistant” who works with Special Education students. Since I work at the high school level I take a lot of notes all day long. Now if I’m going to perpetually be in high school I might as well do things to make it more pleasant than it already is. I have lavender paper, purple notebook and purple clipboard. One of my teachers gave me a purple power stapler at the beginning of this year. Now that was really something. I even have purple staples.
My purple pens are as important to me as the key that gets me into the staff bathroom. I freaked out in the Fall when Fred Meyer didn’t have my favorite purple pens. I like the way those particular pens feel in my hands, the color of the ink and the way that it flows as I write. I was not going back to school without fresh purple pens. So I ordered a gazillion online for $45. Happy Back-to-School, Stephanie! Like a squirrel with a tree full of nuts, I rest easy knowing that I have my cache of purple pens squirreled away in a purple tin box (from a gift box of candy) in my bedroom.
Maybe pens don’t do it for you, but I’ll bet that are little ways you could make yourself happier. Not “over the moon” happy, although the more you can develop that feeling over the small things the better off you are, but little things that make you smile on the inside, even if you don’t outside.