Family & Education

Finding Beauty in the Little Things

BY Barbara Danza TIMEJanuary 23, 2022 PRINT

The other day, I was filling up my washing machine for what was probably load number 1,658,432 of my life. The sun was shining through the window, and as the suds began to develop, I happened to notice the beautiful pink, blue, and purple hues being reflected in the bubbles. They had a pearlescent quality, and for some reason they seemed just so beautiful to me at that moment. I paused my rushing around to continue to watch the pretty bubbles form as the machine filled.

Perhaps you’ve had a similar experience—a moment when you’ve allowed your mind to become fully present and centered not on what has happened or what you intend to do, but on what is happening that very moment, right there in front of you. There’s so much beauty and joy to behold in even the simplest of things if we’re aware enough to take note.

As I stared at my laundry bubbles that day, I started to think about all of the things I miss as I go about my busy life. Slowly and more carefully than usual, I placed the laundry items in the machine. The task didn’t really seem to take much longer than it otherwise would, but my mindset was in a much better place. I pondered how fortunate my family and I were to have so many garments to choose from and that need washing, and that we have such a convenient machine that does the bulk of the task for us. It was a very enlightening load of laundry, I must say.

Especially in running a household and caring for family, we can convince ourselves that the work we do is mundane and unimportant, just something that needs to be done, and as quickly as possible, so we can get on with life.

But these moments, these tasks, they are life. Just as easily as we can decide to see such work as ordinary, we can recognize its extraordinariness as well.

What happens to the quality of your life and your perspective on the world when joy and beauty can be found in tasks as simple as doing laundry, washing dishes, or making beds? What if you stopped dreading paying bills and instead saw it as a privilege to be a steward of your blessings? What if waking up early was truly greeted with immense gratitude for the potential of a new day?

If gratitude and love are poured into the peanut butter sandwich with a side of apple slices you prepare for your kids, might it taste better? Will you smile more when you serve it to them? Will they smile back? Will you pause for a moment and recognize that there will come a day when you’ll miss making these peanut butter sandwiches for them? What a gift to have this moment with them right now.

If you’re knee-deep in the responsibilities of home and family life, and other responsibilities, I urge you to put down your complaints, let go of any resentment you hold for having to take on so much, and instead bask in the beauty and joy of this life—full of color and variety, opportunities to improve and be creative—as well as the privilege to be tasked with the important work of supporting your family, maintaining your household, and caring for your loved ones.

Beauty in life is truly to be found in the simple things.

Barbara Danza
Barbara Danza is a mom of two, an MBA, a beach lover, and a kid at heart. Here, diving into the challenges and opportunities of parenting in the modern age. Particularly interested in the many educational options available to families today, the renewed appreciation of simplicity in kids’ lives, the benefits of family travel, and the importance of family life in today’s society.
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