For a while now I’ve been writing these weekly lists about the things I’ve enjoyed in the week. I write them half for myself – I like reading them back, remembering the things I was doing in 2013, 2014; the make up I was wearing, the dinners I went for, not just the holidays or the 'big things' but the Nandos lunches and the new lipsticks and the other little, positive sparks that make up a life.
And yet recently I have been thinking that there are even smaller things. The black coffee I make every morning, the smell of the hot water mixing with the instant granules and filling the office kitchen. These little, insignificant rituals. Massaging Body Shop vitamin E cream into my skin. The smell reminds me, for no reason, of my mother. Seeing a homemade cheesecake laid out on someone’s desk with a sign propped up next to it – ‘Tastes better than it looks! Help yourselves!’ Buskers on the tube playing an Oasis song. Waking up with a cool breeze streaming through the balcony door.
These things, I realise, are nothing but the in between moments, taking me from one event to the next. Liking how your nails look as you slap your contactless card against the Oyster reader. A seat on the tube. Walking past a sausage dog puppy wearing a cone. These are the connecting pieces, the screws holding the shelves together. The way your favourite denim jeans feel on dress-down-Friday. Drinking a diet coke first thing in the morning. Picking up someone's card when they drop it on the street, their smiles of relief, your bubble of pleasure.
They might seem insignificant, these moments, but they are not; added together they are the summation of your life and they can make you happy or sad, richer or poorer, better or worse. Do not forget to take pleasure in your in between things – breathe in your coffee, brush your hair, stretch. Pad across cool floorboards and open the curtains. These little things, they matter, make them count. Because in dark times, when the big things seem too big, it is these moments that will save you. Your morning ritual, a moment of recognition with a stranger, the soup you like in Pret - these things will be there when all else is lost in the void. Life is what happens when you aren't looking. These moments, we should appreciate them more. They hold our lives together.