It was at a flea market in Athens, on a warm Sunday afternoon where I heard Edith Piaf’s voice coming from an old record player. The streets were filled with beautiful old junk – old books, old records, old furniture, old jewelry. There was even a certain smell of old yet meaningful things covering the streets. I was wearing a long dress which fluttered in the warm Athenian breeze. When I heard Edith Piaf’s voice a feeling of comfort, loveliness and happiness overwhelmed me. I twirled gently with the sound of the music and smiled. The old man that was playing the record looked at me and smiled as well. Right then and right there I forgot about every single problem or care in the world. Everything was so simple. Everything was so clear. Everything felt right. While dropping a happy tear (because what is a wuss to do but cry) a thought crossed my mind and hasn’t left it since: How could it be that the simplest things manage to touch our hearts and how could it be that we notice them so rarely?
As I walked away from the flea market the feeling of happiness and comfort continued to overwhelm me – and I owed it all to the simple sound of music, the lyrics, the smell of the air, the sun, the voices in the street, the light breeze, the twirl and the smile on an old man’s face. I couldn’t help but wonder why we ever stop noticing the smell of the air, the colors of the sky, the sounds of the streets or the kindness of people. I couldn’t help but wonder why we seem to be stuck in a roller coaster of things that seem to carry way more weight than they actually should. And while the roller coaster of our death serious jobs, extremely fast pace lives, very busy schedules, important deadlines, never-ending WhatsApp and Facebook messages, insignificant information overload, high importance emails and the constant chase for a better tomorrow seems to move at warp speed – do we ever stop to smell the flowers?
We keep writing endless “to do lists” hoping we’ll be able to tick off as many of the things in a certain time frame. More often than not we set goals for ourselves that seem appropriate and accepted by the society, whether they’re appropriate and accepted by ourselves or not. And sometimes we fail to achieve them. More often than not that crushes our spirit. More often than not we feel rejected and underappreciated. More often than not we care about the insignificant way too much. More often than not we all want happiness. More often than not we search for it in wrong places. More often than not we fail to see that happiness is in fact in the little things that surround each and every one of us.
Just like every week, I’m writing my “to do list”. The only difference is – this one actually makes sense:
- HUG MOM
- STARE AT THE SKY
- KISS A BOY
- TAKE A WALK
- RIDE A BIKE
- LISTEN TO A FRIEND
- BE NICE TO A STRANGER
- STOP AND SMELL THE FLOWERS