Today has been the most perfect spring day we’ve had in New York City so far this season. A slightly cool breeze blowing around the petals from cherry blossom trees, a piercing blue sky perfectly etched with marshmallow white clouds, hot pink tulips in bloom. It feels exactly like a Friday in spring should feel; exciting, hopeful and vibrant. Everyone’s appetite is whet for the weekend (not to mention a big fat glass – or bottle – of wine).
So naturally, I had to get out and enjoy it. Despite the fact that I work in Times Square, aka the devil’s armpit, I am just blocks away from beautiful Bryant Park which is not only where Ryan and I got engaged, but where disgruntled midtown suits get away to take in nature and forget the fact that their job totally sucks.
I made my way to Hale and Hearty to grab my salad (beets, walnuts, carrots, broccoli, onions and feta cheese – yum!) and then set out to hunt down a table in the park. Finding a table during lunch hour in a beautiful park in this city is next to impossible, especially on a day like today, but I was determined. Within minutes I scoped out my space, laid out my lunch spread, pumped up my iPod, and entered nirvana.
As I chomped away on my salad, I felt such a sense of peace. I was thrilled to be in that exact moment. I wasn’t thinking of this morning, or tonight. I was present. Fully, completely, and totally present. It got me thinking about something my ex once told my mother. I can’t even remember what it was, but she had gotten something that made her really happy. Something small and insignificant to most – but to her it was everything. “I feel so bad for you, the littlest things make you happy,” he scoffed. She turned to him and said, “Actually, that makes me very, very lucky.”
And I have to give it to my mother, she raised my brother and I on her own, so the “little things” were all we had. I wasn’t raised in a big house with fancy cars. In fact, the public bus was our family car. We didn’t have much, but my mother never, ever let us feel like we went without. In my eyes, we had everything – an amazing family, endless support, more laughter than you could ever imagine, and each other.
So this afternoon, as I sat in the park, falling in love with the afternoon, I thought about what a blessing it is to appreciate the small stuff. The gorgeous sunshine, a delicious salad, a happy and satisfying life. Because when you really think about it, none of that is small stuff, at all.