Soul Well-being

Little things that bring me Joy

A list of random joys and pleasures that make “the every-day” better. Do you share any of these little joys with me?

Have you ever stopped to think about the little things in every-day life that you’re grateful for? Below I’m sharing a list of random little things that fill my days with joy. They don’t always show up during my day and some days are just -to put it elegantly- crap.

But there is one habit I’ve developed over time which I’ve found very beneficial. When I’m going through a difficult time in life, I like to take a moment before going to bed to record 3 good things about my day. I learned this from reading Sheryl Sandberg’s book Option B, where she talks about overcoming the passing of her husband and re-discovering happiness. I thought it was silly at first, but I was surprised to find that no matter how difficult a day has been, I never struggle to come up with 3 good things at the end of it. This was proof that the day has not, in fact, been lost. It helps me remember that, indeed, no day is ever lost as long as we have hope.

So here’s what may look like a very random list of things that make me happy, even when life feels like going up a very steep hill:

1. A warm embrace from my partner. I’m at 100,000,000 lucky stars and still counting.

2. The silly look my dog gives me after a long day. I mean let’s admit it. Dogs are dum-dums and we laugh at them and we love them even more for it.

Now who’s a cute little guy whose eyes take my breath and worries away?? Since I moved out of home to live with my partner, I miss these eyes every day but the thought of them still fills my heart with joy. #JackRusselDiaries #Aris

3. The pitter-patter of rain. Did you know that the phrase pitter-patter is an onomatopoeia? #greekword #nerd

4. The cherry tree we have in the garden. I’m so proud to see how much it grows each year. The little plump red fruits that it produces may not be the sweetest but I’m such a damn proud cherry tree mama.

5. Eating cake. Sweet tooth alert.

As Leonidas famously yelled in the ridiculously historically inaccurate film “300”….. ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ. i.e. COME AND GET THEM!

6. Planning a trip to a new place. Need I say more?

7. Getting up early and seizing the day.

8. A good joke, well-played on a dear friend who loves you.

9. Discovering a new song that blows my world. Usually comes from a good film or TV show. I’m currently thinking of you, Bella Ciao.

10. Exchanging a warm smile with a stranger on the train home.

11. The colour blue. Sea, sky, calmness, safety, lullabies. The words that “blue” brings to mind.

Blue up, blue down, blue far and wide!

12. Getting lost in a good book. Story of my life: One of these days I will eventually make more time to read.

13. Doing some exercise I enjoy. Often the exercise of eating.

14. Flowers.

15. Eating healthy and not too much for the day.

16. Taking a walk around the neighbourhood. Your neighbourhood is your community closest to home. Live it, breathe it, embrace it.

17. Getting my hair to look good. Far from a daily occurrence.

18. Cooking something I’ve never cooked before. 

I mean how good is it when you nail a dish? Simplicity is, of course, key when ingredients are superb. Forgetting for a moment that the sardines pictured here were tinned, freshly toasted bread with fragrant tomatoes, olive oil, oregano and sardines on top is just lovely. And unexpectedly so, I must admit.

19. Making a yummy salad and nailing it.

20. An involved game of Scrabble, cards or Articulate. I only recently discovered Scrabble and am obsessed.

21. My Dad’s cooking.

22. Watching a well-made war documentary.

23. The sea. Being close, around and in it.

Marialena + sea = happiest Marialena that can be.

24. The smell of cinnamon.

25. Watching a thought-provoking film.

26. Taking a nice, deep breath.

27. My mum’s warm hand on my face or hair.

28. Writing out my worries.

29. My eye catching the sight of incredible street art, somewhere in the city streets.

This is hand down one of the most STUNNING pieces of freely available art I have ever seen. I don’t want to just call it street art because it’s not merely that. This is a commissioned public housing mural in a hip Melbourne suburb that’s also the tallest such piece in the Southern Hemisphere. Wow!

30. Sexy outfits in winter. I like summer outfits. But I really got a thing for sassy winter looks.

31. Listening to an Agatha Christie book. The woman is a genius and I don’t know why she doesn’t come up more often when we talk about great women in history.

32. A sleep-in when it’s needed.

Essential life education, presented in compact and simple form for you, right here. “Good advice Stay in bed”. What’s funny is that this poster was on the wall of a hotel I stayed at in Thailand whose name was, of course, “Bed”.

33. Having a tidy and clean house. Aaa the feeling of inner peace, about to be destroyed by my partner’s arrival at home and stepping everywhere with his heavy-duty muddy boots.

34. The feeling of warm sunlight on my face. This is referring more so to the European sunlight, because it’s more like a sun-kiss. The Australian sunlight is unfortunately more like a sun-slap.

35. Dancing alone in the house. Sometimes I involve my dog into dancing with me in my embrace, without his voluntary consent of course. Blame me for it.

Yes, I know I torture you sometimes but hey, you get red lipstick juicy kisses to make up for it.


I hope that these have inspired you to make a mental or written note of some of the things that make you grateful to be here, present, now and always. I hope these will encourage you to remember that there is light in our life, no matter what, and we can look for it around and within us. Whatever the day, situation or worldwide apocalyptic situation unravelling out there, stay positive and stay hopeful, in here.


M xx

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