Enjoying New Little ThingsAug 01, 2022 06:00AM ● By Denise Natasha Brewley (Chef Beee), PhD, MBA, HHC
Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things. – Robert Brault
I often forget that I don’t need to take big trips abroad in order to have unique experiences right here in my own country’s backyard. It is so easy to get wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of life and not venture out. There is so much beauty all around if we choose to discover it for ourselves.
I recently took a road trip from the Southeast to the Midwest with my family to spend time with an old friend, and what an amazing trip it was. I have to admit, I had never ventured out to the Midwest before. Traveling through the states by car, in my opinion, is one of the best ways to see how glorious this part of the country’s landscape truly is. So much is offered to your senses. New things to see, touch, taste, smell and feel. The trip reminded me that I have to make more time to get away, enjoy new little things as often as I can and share in those new experiences with loved ones.
As we travelled, the landscape started to shift and became more and more majestic, and the shift made me pay more attention to the little things around me. For instance, I observed the textures of the rock sediment forming on the base of the Tennessee mountains, the massive evergreen trees sitting on top of them and the pop in my ears as our elevation increased, winding through hilltops on the highway.
As we crossed the Tennessee River, an incredible sense of peace and tranquility washed over me. I said a quick prayer to my ancestors who might have passed through those places before me, and I was reminded that I was creating new little memories with my children every time we departed from our comfort zone. While they might not find as much value spending time outside their normal time at home with video games, moments like these—in the real world—can
become a reference point for them later—a conversation, a life lesson or even an opportunity for reflection.
I let myself take it all in; it was almost as if I were tapping into nature. I slowed down and stayed still. I just enjoyed the little things—like the late-night summer sunsets over the Joseph River in Indiana and the massive acreage prairie farmlands with cows that you drive by on your way into town.
I felt how uniquely different each place is as we travelled from state to state—from high, winding roads and lush green mountains in Tennessee to wide open flat lands in Indiana. The road trip was a wonderful opportunity for me to introduce my children to new places and enjoy small moments of discovery with them along the way.
Studies show that experiencing new things is an important part of wellness. According to psychiatrist Robert Cloninger, novelty seekers possess traits that keep them healthy and happy and help them to develop their personality as they age. Other studies look at how fulfilled and happy people are in their lives when they explore novel experiences. I know it can make an impact in expanding one's larger perspective. So, there’s something to being a little adventurous.
I am so grateful for this new awareness. It means a lot to know that every time I try something new or go somewhere new, it is helping to foster new ideas and creativity in me. I have a deeper appreciation for the whole process of discovery now. I am also grateful to my old friend for creating an opportunity to go and be somewhere different—so that my family could enjoy the “little things” with each other. ❧