Last year my wife and I took a trip to London. The planning and anticipation was a big part of the joy of it all. Even the setbacks, in retrospect, added to the experience. There is nothing like airport delays at the top of a journey to bring all sorts of anxiety and frustration. Even though the beginning of our get-away vacation had the exact opposite of the intended effect on both of us, we look back on that part of the trip and laugh. In hindsight, it was only a setback. The trip overall was a memorable one.
We eventually checked in to our London flat that mid-day in June. We soaked up a little local color and enjoyed a full week of tourism. We went to the theatre, visited museums, saw several Wimbledon Tennis Championship matches, ate strawberries and cream and we even saw the Queen of England. (It was the first visit by Queen Elizabeth II to Wimbledon in 33 years!) It was just an unexpected bonus for us to see the Queen. A little thing we will always remember.
Our accommodations at the Chelsea Cloisters studio efficiency apartment were modest. This was home-base for our week in London. Lynn and I remember the last time we spent this much time living in such close quarters was when we began our life together. We lived in a garage apartment in Miami when we were first married. It was cramped and inconvenient at the time, but we look back on that time now and recall how simple and fun it was when we really didn’t have much of anything. Looking back, again it was the little things that really meant so much.
That trip last year and our first apartment remind me of how we sometimes forget to cherish life’s simple pleasures. Like being with someone you love or the simple joy in buying a lottery ticket with all kinds of hopes and anticipation. Don’t forget where the real joy is. It’s in the little things. Smell a flower. Marvel at a display of fireworks. Smile in traffic. Buy a lottery ticket. Life is a journey, not a destination. It’s all good.
Optimist contributor Wes Morgan: originally posted February 28, 2011