The Small, Happy Life

Love, love this David Brooks column, “The Small, Happy Life.” (Link here.)

Brooks asked readers to send in essays about their purpose in life and how they found it. This is what I assume is the first column about the responses he received. And it’s golden.


I expected most contributors would follow the commencement-speech clichés of our high-achieving culture: dream big; set ambitious goals; try to change the world. In fact, a surprising number of people found their purpose by going the other way, by pursuing the small, happy life.

…Everywhere there are tiny, seemingly inconsequential circumstances that, if explored, provide meaning” and chances to be generous and kind. Spiritual and emotional growth happens in microscopic increments.


Check out the entire article if you have time. It’s worth it.

In the meantime, these are a few recent photos from my small, happy life.

New pink running sneaks, a good run, fresh flowers, funky leaves, raindrops on my begonia buds.


And then there’s this quirky sculpture. This was near the start/finish line of my very first cycling event this morning. In spite of the fact that I felt exactly like this guy looks on a couple of the hills we climbed, it was so much fun. Twenty-seven miles. Not the event’s longest route offering, not the shortest. It was just right. And I was super proud. It’s not very often that we get to say we’ve experienced a “first” as we get older. I celebrated my “first” accomplishment with a long afternoon nap.


Insignificant and unexciting, these are the things that put the “happy” in my small, happy life.

From the archives and relating to the subject…here’s a past post about meaning and purpose (link here). One of my favorites.

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