Noticing the Mundane is Practicing Gratitude

Noticing the mundane is hard at first because the mundane is the constant and regular around us. The earthly as opposed to the heavenly. In astrology it would be of the sixth house. It is, in summary, the ordinary. But in the ordinary is, of course, the extraordinary.

It’s appreciating the small things: cozy socks, morning coffee, clean sheets. It’s being thankful for being here to experience it. For having a life to live, imperfect as it is. It’s remembering that not everyone wakes up to hot coffee, or in clean sheets, or even in a bed, or even indoors for that matter. It’s not taking anything for granted. Noticing the mundane is a form of gratitude, which leads us to feel less sorry for ourselves.

My mother, whose birthday it would have been today, as I write this, would have said,

‘Count your blessings.’ It was her antidote to our whining and complaining.

Mother Nature

Noticing the mundane in nature, its beauty and constance is uplifting and reassuring. Mother Nature really does nurture us. The magical way a seed yields a beautiful flower. The strength of trees swaying in the storm. It’s easy not to notice what we see everyday. Again, it’s a question of readjusting our lens.

Even in the darkest moments, that beauty and constance reminds us that someone, somewhere has been or is going through what we are now. People have experienced triumphs and trials over and over again since humans showed up. They watched the same sun rise and set, the same tides. They’ve mused over cloud formations and watched the leaves turning. We survived, obviously, because I wrote this and you’re reading it. Find strength in that when you need to move forward.

Whenever I look at the moon I’m reminded that billions of humans have done the exact same thing over the millennia. Watching it go through its cycle, from full to a sliver, then disappearing just to start all over again with a new crescent appearing on the opposite side. It makes me feel part of something bigger. As if I can’t be the only person who feels and thinks the way I do, at any given moment.

noticing the mundane
Photo: S.G.

A friend sent me this photo recently, taken during a walk, with the comment: This monarch caterpillar is about to form its chrysalis. (I wouldn’t have known it was a monarch, or that it would soon form its chrysalis, and I would have said cocoon). But no matter, it’s pausing to take notice that’s important. The way the air smells in the fall or how nice a hot drink is after being out in the crisp autumn air. Every walk holds a discovery. That’s taking the time to notice.

Feel free to share you mundanities in the comments. I look forward to reading them!


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Photo by Sean Stratton on Unsplash