This day… Caroline rejoices in the little things

What is going on at the moment, and how do we deal with all the changes? In this blog, someone from the Flow team shares how she is dealing with the current situation: both on a practical level and in her head. This time: Caroline rejoices in the little things.

I really enjoy being able to look forward to things. I inherited it from my father, who would suddenly say in the middle of summer: “Five months from today, it’ll be Christmas!” And I’ve passed it on to my daughter, who says on the 17th of every month: “It’s my birthday in XX months’ time!”

What I look forward to the most are vacations. I love to travel: mapping out routes, setting aside money in jars I’ve created specifically for the trip, looking forward to a different culture with different manners, and tasting new foods and experiencing previously unknown flavors.

We had planned a trip to a faraway land this summer too, but I very much doubt we will be making it. I know: it’s a minor problem in the grand scheme of things right now but it has made me think about my love of looking forward to things. Because now that I can’t look ahead, I also realize that—despite having followed a mindfulness course—I may not be living enough in the moment.

Having said that, I have found in recent weeks that I can happily look forward to the small things—things that are close by. An early-morning walk through a quiet city. Looking closely at the plants on my balcony and keeping a record of what has grown where (or has been eaten by the cat) and scribbling a drawing of it. The same goes for my ‘greenhouse’, an improvised creation on the windowsill using PET bottles. Or cooking a new recipe. Or enjoying an evening of Grey’s Anatomy with my daughter (somehow that series had completely passed me by before).

What’s more: instead of looking forward, nowadays I find myself doing the opposite more often. I look back—through photo albums—at all the wonderful things I have already experienced, or I make ‘armchair trips’ in my head. And secretly I look forward to the moment when I can hug my parents again, and my siblings and all the other people who are dear to me.

Text Caroline Buijs; Translation Julia Gorodecky; Photography Erda Estremera /