How we have grown this month: A matter of the little things

Liz Arriens

I was listening to a podcast interview recently with Nims Purja, a Nepalese mountaineer, who set and accomplished amazing goals. He climbed 14 mountains in a significantly quicker time than has ever been done before. I wanted to share with you what he said that struck me.

He said the little things matter. He said that what’s really important is to do the basics in life in a great way. He talked about having a razor sharp focus. He also mentioned that he began climbing at age 29, so it’s never too late to start something new; what matters is self-belief.

Earlier this week Kevin realised that Coraline, our three and a half year old daughter, was actually matching the animal sound buttons in her musical books (the ones down the side with a small picture of an animal on each one) with the larger pictures of the animals on the pages when she flipped them. She was matching! She was doing this. We hadn’t shown her this. She’d worked it out. We were amazed. We were thrilled. I was beaming! It felt monumental. I had never seen her do anything like this before. I felt so proud of her and so excited.

That “wow” feeling is still with me today. Can you believe we hadn’t noticed this before? She’d probably been doing this a while. We just thought she was pressing buttons randomly. When he realised, Kevin said, “look this is what you notice when you’re present in what you’re doing”.

My feeling of jubilation brings home the fact that the little things matter. When thinking about this achievement of Coraline’s, I realised that I fully notice the little things in life so much more these days, and I rejoice in them. For that presence and awareness, I thank Coraline. I think that is something current times have taught us too. We begin to focus on where we are and as we go on a walk, for example, we notice all the little things around us such as the design and beauty of flowers, or seeing shoots grow, and we feel grateful for each small thing, because we are seeing it and appreciating it. This morning, wheeling Coraline to school, I marvelled at the frost patterns on the parked cars.

Thinking about this I realised what a gift Coraline has given us. When you notice the little things, you become more present in your experience in life. I realised how much joy I get from the little things now, because I see them. Coraline, and 2020, have taught me to open my eyes.

Read more from Liz on her blog, Coraline and Us