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It's The Simple Things In Life

Updated on September 16, 2010

The Simple Things In Life

It is the simple things in life that often bring about the biggest changes.  A bad day can be brightened with a simple smile or warm touch from another.  A simple word of encouragement from someone can help you over one of life's hurdles.  A "well done" is a simple acknowledgment that grants you permission to own and celebrate a win. 

Often when we have a desire to better our circumstances in life or in the life of another we get hung up in trying to effect big changes by doing big things. You can find yourself, over the course of your lifetime, in circumstances that are not to your liking. You can find yourself in a situation that is miserable or uncomfortable. Sometimes you are just miserable and uncomfortable being you.

You recognize that something needs to change and the sooner it changes the better. When you are sitting in a big fat misery you often think there needs to be a big fat change before things will start to improve. The trouble with looking and focusing your energy and efforts in the direction of a "big fat change" is that you can overlook the little things that are actually capable of bringing about the very "big fat change" that you are looking for.

The trouble with being in a not so good spot where you feel that you need a big, fat change to get you out of it is that your corresponding mood level is somewhere in the bottom of your shoes or even possibly further down than that. It is impossible to create a big, fat change from a negative, nasty, down in the dumps, mood level. Attitude equals altitude and face it, when your mood level is low you are not going anywhere fast.

What follows is two separate accounts of how a simple thing made a big difference.

A Small Comfort
A Small Comfort

It's The Simple Things That Can Make A Big Difference

My husband was in the hospital, yet again and had been for over a month. While he stayed in his ward, other patients came and went. One day when I was visiting him I noticed a new patient kitty corner across the room from my husband's bed. She was an older woman and it came to light during that visit that she could no longer see or hear. In the few days that followed and subsequent visits to my husband I noticed that this woman was becoming increasingly restless and agitated. I overheard the nurses talking about having to put restraints on her as she was trying to get up from the bed and was pulling at the tubes to her IV. It really upset my husband to see people restrained, he found it agonizing to witness.

I watched the woman carefully and noticed that as her hands groped for the tubes and her bedding her fingers were making repetitive motions that had a pattern to them. "She's knitting", I said to my husband. "I'll be right back." With that I made for the elevator and down I went to the main floor lobby where the hospital gift shop was. I looked all around because I knew that there had to be something suitable, knitters were always busy making baby booties and sweaters and the like for newborns and selling them through the hospital gift store. And then I spied them, in a box stuck back in the corner of a bottom shelf. Little shawl like blankets that had been made for patients to throw around their shoulders to keep the draft off. They did not have the tiny stitching of the baby items, they were exactly what I was looking for. I made my selection and took the elevator back up to my husband's ward.

The woman's bed was inside the door just to the right and I made a beeline for her bedside. I touched her gently on the arm to let her know I was there and then I took one of her hands and placed it on the knitted shawl. It was magic! She settled down immediately. She tossed a big smile in my general direction even as her hands went to work. I crossed the room and sat again at my husband's bedside. The change that had come over the lady across from him was a sight to behold - she was HAPPY!

Sweat The Small Stuff

The next day when I went in to see my husband the woman's family was there. Her son approached me and the first thing out of his mouth was, "How did you know?" He went on to tell me how much his mother had loved to knit. How she would sit in her chair by the window and knit for hours making beautiful blankets and wonderful sweaters for her children and grandchildren. And then again he asked me "How did you know? "I watched her hands", I replied. None of her family could thank me enough. They wanted to know how much I paid for it so they could pay me back. I declined, it was worth every penny just to witness the BIG difference it made to her quality of life and to her quality of care - but it was such a little thing. There was no more talk of restraining her. When the staff came into attend to her or to make her bed, they always made sure that she had her knitting.

I have been at both the giving and receiving end of the simple things in life! One instance in particular quite literally brought me back to life. My husband was again in the hospital recovering from his second heart attack in five months. Having cared for my husband through a number of medical issues and complications this was just one more but I was drained. I arrived at the hospital on Friday afternoon to learn that he was to be discharged the next morning, Saturday. The following day was Mother's Day and it hit me hard that I would not be able to enjoy it due to the demands of his care. In fact I didn't think I could take one more step. I did manage to rather tearfully communicate this to one of his nurses and before my visit was over I was told it was a "simple thing" for him to remain one more day and I was instructed to enjoy my Mothers' Day.

Unbeknown to me, my children had been hatching a plan, unaware of the impending discharge and thinking I would be free. Thanks to the staff at the hospital, it turned out that I was! On Sunday morning my eldest daughter and son-in-law arrived and along with my son and youngest daughter we all went out for breakfast in Bridal Falls, not far from where we live. A fifteen minute drive to a the restaurant where we had a wonderful time and a great breakfast. The parking lot for the falls was a minute's drive from the restaurant and that is where we headed next.

It's The Simple Things In Life.....

Simply Magnificent!

The minute my foot stepped onto the trail and I could feel the tension  and exhaustion begin to leave me and with each step and each breath I took I was filled with renewed strength.  The smell of the forest, the sound of the birds, the two little dogs bouncing ahead of us, the gurgling rush of the water, the feel of the moss beneath my feet surrounded and embraced me and I came alive!  My children, who are no longer children engaged in a lively banter as we made our way towards the falls.  It was so much fun.  Such a simple thing, a walk in the forest, but it meant the world to me. 

When we came to the base of the falls I stood awe struck.  When I made the comment that it did indeed look like a bride's veils my youngest piped with, "Oh, it's a bride's veil, I was wondering why it didn't look like a bridle."  She can still come up them, oh boy!  The young one's decided they were going to climb up the side of the falls.  I would have found that to be a daunting idea only a few short hours ago but filled with renewed energy I was all for going along with them.   It was amazing!  It was awe inspiring!  It was wonderful! 

I may have walked beside water but it certainly was not still water but, it did restore my soul.  It was the best Mothers' Day I can remember.  It was a simple thing, but it made a HUGE difference to me!

The Simple Truth

In a world that is fraught with complexities and individual lives that do not always turn out to be the stuff of Disney movies we often find ourselves seeking equally complex answers to our dilemmas.  The truth is that the solutions are, more often than not, beautifully simple.  Perhaps that is why it is referred to as the "simple Truth".  I know for certain that putting a little truth into the life of the distressed soul in that hospital bed, and the receiving of some simple truth in my own life resulted in the freeing up of attention and energy.  Indeed the Truth Shall Set Us Free - It's that simple!

Bridal Falls, British Columbia

bridal falls provincial park:
Bridal Veil Falls Provincial Park, Fraser Valley D, BC V0X, Canada

get directions


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    • raisingme profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Fraser Valley, British Columbia

      Yes it can and it uplifts the spirit! And makes life worth living! Thank you both for your comments - uplifted me!

    • creativelycc profile image

      Carrie L Cronkite 

      8 years ago from Maine

      What a wonderful hub! You truly reminded us that by taking a little more time to see the natural beauty of the world and by paying attention to the helpless can make this world a better place.

    • MPG Narratives profile image

      Marie Giunta 

      8 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Just beautiful. Enough Said.

    • raisingme profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Fraser Valley, British Columbia

      Twas a hard earned wisdom garnered by confronting much of my own stupidity. Spiritual insight is the best insight of all. My very favourite thing about the truth is the simplicity of it.

      Thank You. I am happy that you found me!

    • Debarshi Dutta profile image

      Debarshi Dutta 

      8 years ago from Calcutta

      I am indeed fortunate to find in you a wise person with keen spiritual insight in to the nature of things.

      And this was a very refreshing hub that I read. Simple true and wise.


    • raisingme profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Fraser Valley, British Columbia

      Wow - you are not so bad yourself. Your comments are very uplifting. Thank You!

      P.S. My wonderful son-in-law took the incredible photographs at Bridal Falls!

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 

      8 years ago from Chicago

      What an incredible gesture you made for that poor woman! How astute and sensitive you are! The beauties of nature are no simple thing, my dear. They are magnificent. Your lovely photographs attest to that. Thank you for sharing this inspiring story. I enjoyed reading your words.

    • raisingme profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Fraser Valley, British Columbia

      Thank you, I am fortunate to live in an area where there are many lakes, rivers, streams and forested areas - soul food!

    • ceciliabeltran profile image


      8 years ago from New York

      Love your photos. So much love and peace in this hub!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Excellent hub, full of powerful life experience. Your writing definitely uplifts the spirit and imparts new life.

    • raisingme profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Fraser Valley, British Columbia

      When I saw your name in my email I said out loud to myself, "I love ethel smith, and I smiled. So, the sight of your name fills my soul and revitalizes me too - and I didn't even have to get out of my chair! I must say I was a tad sore the next day after hiking up those falls but it was so worth it!

    • ethel smith profile image

      Ethel Smith 

      8 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Such sights fill your soul and revitalise you. Great hub

    • raisingme profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Fraser Valley, British Columbia

      Thank you! And a simple comment such as yours makes it well worth telling!

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 

      8 years ago from TEXAS

      Beautiful stories of triumph over adversity by simple but meaningful gifts of self expressed as only caring can!


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