Small Joys

“Many people lose small joys, in the hope for the big happiness.” – Pearl S. Buck

As my regular readers know, we are a small group of friends who meet every evening at the local park for a walk or jog followed by some happy fellowship. This group also meets in turns in each other’s homes at infrequent intervals for a bit of snacks and tea or coffee or whatever.

Today, we met at one home and had a thoroughly enjoyable time. The occupants of the home are a grand old couple, extremely popular but forced to bear some crosses. The husband has suffered multiple heart attacks and as a result has had multiple bypass surgeries and is partially paralyzed. He is also diabetic and has to be extremely careful about his diet, exercise routine etc. One more cross is their son who is now 48 but is mentally challenged. All three made excellent hosts and did every thing possible to make the rest of us comfortable and well fed!

If a stranger had walked into the room, he would not have realized that the hosts had these problems. He would have simply seen a group of people having a great time sharing some good food, cheer and great fellowship, thanks to the hosts having provided that kind of an ambience.

After we returned home, I caught myself musing (I am rum – muser, remember?) about happiness and took some time to dig up the quotation from Pearl S. Buck, which appears at the beginning of this post. I thought that I would pontificate about happiness when I realized that it is more important to have a constant supply of small joys, than one big happiness. It hit me hard that unless we also had small problems, we will not be able to really appreciate the small joys.

Let me illustrate – like everyday, I retired for my siesta after lunch this afternoon. I read for a while and without being aware of it, fell into a very deep and restful sleep. I was jolted out of my sleep by the insistent ringing of the doorbell. It was the newspaper vendor with his monthly bill. I lost my cool. I ticked him off for disturbing senior citizens in the afternoon and I let the building’s watchman also for having allowed him to disturb us, when he clearly knows that most of us have a nap in the afternoons.

I tried hard to get back to sleep without any success and was in quite a foul mood till we walked into our friend’s place. My friend took one look at me and said, that I must be annoyed with the newspaper vendor as he was too. I looked at him amazed at his insight and when he laughed at the way I had allowed a small matter disturb me, I realized what a silly thing it was. The subsequent enjoyable time among dear friends completely changed my frame of my mind.

I have decided that the next time around, if at all something like this happened, I would not let it irritate me. Let me see if I can keep up to that resolve.

Do you let small matters disturb you? What do you do otherwise?

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