The Joy of Small Things

November 3, 2023
The Joy of Small Things

Hi there friend! Today, I’m introducing you to a book that feels like a warm hug for your soul, especially in these turbulent times we find ourselves in. It's "The Joy of Small Things" by Hannah Jane Parkinson, and it's an absolutely delightful collection of musings about those everyday, seemingly mundane things that light up your life.

Over the past few years, joy has been in short supply for many of us. From the global health crisis to food shortages to humanitarian crisis after another and the world quite literally feeling like it's on fire, we've all needed a dose of delights. And this book definitely delivers.  

Hannah Jane Parkinson has this magical way of making you appreciate the little things in life. I even found myself reading excerpts of this book cozied up on the couch with a glass of red wine - which is one of the "small things" that Hannah talks about; those moments when you take care of yourself, even when the world feels crazy.

One of my favourite insights from the book is about dogs. Dogs have this remarkable ability to be content and happy, and their happiness is incredibly contagious. Hannah writes, "The glorious and uplifting thing about dogs is that, unless they are sick or maltreated, or lonely, they are essentially always happy. Or at the very least, content; and these two things are often catching." So, if you're having a rough day, just watching a dog in the park can make you smile (yes, really). 

The core message of the book is all about contentment. We often get caught up in "Big Picture" thinking, believing that we'll only be happy when we achieve those big goals – the dream job, the perfect relationship, the fancy car, or the dream house. But in that pursuit of the future, we often miss the beauty of the present. The wonderfully monotonous and inconsequential things that bring us comfort and delight.

Hannah's list of "small things" includes some of my own favourites – the crisp and gooey edges of roasted marshmallows, the colour of autumn leaves, Christmas, and bubble baths. It's a reminder that happiness is often found in the simplest of moments, not just in the grand achievements.

The book is filled with delightful entries. For instance, the way Hannah describes clean bedding – "Fresh bedding: clean, taut sheets, plumped pillows, the crinkle of a rejuvenated duvet cover" – makes me instantly imagine that can’t-be-beaten feeling when you hop into a freshly made bed (bonus joy points if you don’t have to make the aforementioned bed yourself). She also dives into the joys of a Sunday roast, the pleasure of outfits with pockets. 

So, here it is – "The Joy of Small Things". Like a little handbook for joy moments every day. It encourages you to stop and smell the roses, to cherish the small moments that make life beautiful. Whether it's the author’s intention or not, this book could easily be your personal credo for living a more joyful and content life. If you read it, I’d love to know if it inspires you to find joy in the little things too.

Alice Abba

Travel, Food & Joy Seeker + occasional writer at Connected Women.