On Finding Joy in the Simplest Things

Dear Portia,

Have you ever heard of the term bed of roses? It’s an idiom. You’ll probably take it up in 4th grade or so. It means comfort. But comfort for your mom isn’t drowning in a bed of roses. It’s drowning in a bed of Julie’s Coco bread. That artificial treat has the sugar content of the whole Negros Oriental placed in a bite. Precisely what I need to keep up with you. Sometimes, I dream of them. I even talk to them. It’s a good thing I’m breastfeeding you otherwise call me Butterball right about now.

The Julie’s cart hasn’t passed by yet, so I’m hyperventilating.

On a serious note, I hope I raise you well enough to find joy in the simplest things in life, little girl. Because if there’s anything I learned, they’re the ones worth trying the most. And simplicity does not only refer to tangible living. It could refer to purity of thought, of intention, of feeling. It’s that time in your life when confidence strikes you so strong, you feel like every action is an extension of your true self.

Materially speaking, it wouldn’t hurt to live within your means too. Never purchase something you will have to give up the basic needs over. It doesn’t matter if that dress makes you feel good or that new gadget makes you seem cool. You will still have that niggling feeling of doubt hanging over you, which isn’t the point of buying in the first place. Buying is supposed to complete a part of you, not make you feel guilty. Consider only the necessary. All the rest are dispensable.

Take a walk through the village. Pick stones at the beach. Have a quiet conversation with a friend. See the sunset. Rest on a loved one’s shoulders. Receive a letter from a friend. Bike through quiet streets. Doodle. Make a shell necklace. Have coffee on the sidewalk.

They’re free.At least, most of them are.Best of all, there are no embellishments to distract you from your true self. Find her.

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