Last month, I wrote a post about all the random things to keep in your desk at work & I got a lot of great feedback! (I’m happy my collection of random things made your workdays better). So in a similar train of thought, I figured I’d list the random things to always keep in your apartment. Some are more obvious than others, but everything listed below has helped me in one circumstance or another. Again, this is beyond the apartment “basics” (cleaning products, coffee maker, pots & pans, etc. etc.) These are the random things you may not think of right away but will definitely come in handy.
A few weeks ago, I was at Wawa grabbing coffee before making the drive from the shore back to Philly. It was early, maybe 6:45 a.m., and I was still in my just-waking-up daze. I approached the cashier to pay for my coffee at the same time as an older gentleman.
“Oh, I’m sorry, you can go,” I sort of mumble & smile.
He smiles back. It’s one of those grandfatherly smiles. “No dear, ladies first, I’m in no rush.”
I step up to the counter. “Are you sure? I really don’t mind.” (I’m polite to a fault, thanks Mom & Dad).
He laughs. “Yes, I’m certain. You worry about life too much. Don’t worry so much.”
You worry about life too much.
That phrase stuck with me during my two hour drive and for a few days later. It was such an interesting thing to say to a stranger, but that morning, I needed to hear it.
He was right–I do worry too much. I’ve always been “a worrier,” but my anxiety levels reached a new high after I graduated college. All of a sudden there was no distinct path or structure my life. Every time I looked out into the future, I saw a blank slate. My worry came from not knowing how everything was going to work out. I’m a planner at heart. Type A to a T. I like knowing the who/what/when/where/why/how in every situation I’m facing.
But that’s not how life works. And I think I’ve finally learned (accepted?) that.
A couple months ago, I was talking to a friend about random things that made us happy. I’m not sure how it came up, but we went back and forth for a while listing out the things that brought us joy. Funny enough, the things we thought of weren’t big–on the contrary, they were very small, ordinary things that made us happy for no apparent reason. We began labeling them “simple joys,” and whenever we stumbled upon another one, we added it to our mental lists (or in my case, a Note on my phone because I can’t remember anything if I don’t write it down. Fact.) Since then, I’ve asked a number of people what their “simple joys” are just because it’s fun/a good conversation starter, plus I find you can learn a lot about a person from the small things that bring them joy.
Sim•ple joy /ˈsimpəl/ / joi/, noun: an object, feeling or experience that intrinsically brings you happiness, its mere existence in your life creates joy without ties to consequence or additional outcomes
Simple Joys are not overarching, “big picture” items that bring you happiness. For example, hanging out with friends/significant other, graduating from college, landing your dream job will obviously make you very happy, but they’re not categorized as Simple Joys. Simple Joys are the familiar, mundane and very specific things that you experience in your everyday life. They don’t take years to achieve or require a certain set of circumstances to work out–they just exist and bring you happiness.