The other day, I looked at the clouds. Remember how that used to be a thing? Looking at clouds? You would point at one and yell out which animal or object you saw in its puffy shape. Truly a lost art.
I didn’t do it for a sweet Instagram (I didn’t even have my phone on me at the time…I was being a shitty millennial). I laid there, staring up (mostly at the sky, occasionally at the derpy, interrupting face of my very rude dog) because I was tired and it was warm out and the clouds looked cool as hell.
Three pretty good reasons if you ask me.
I realize we’re all busy people. Not only do we not have time to stop and smell the roses but literally doing so would actually be super weird. All I’m saying is don’t forget the little things that make you happy. Basically, try to be more like a baby goat.
You’ve never seen a baby goat video? Jesus. Stop looking at clouds, stop taking my advice, and get inside to your computer right NOW. Check this out:
That is pure, unbridled joy. It is furry little tap-dancing aliens jumping up and down and rolling around because they’re just discovering living and it’s awesome. Climbing on things and running around should give us that much joy. Headbutting your siblings, not so much. But you get the point.
[Note: I’m fully aware that baby goats might actually just be monumentally spazzy, not exceptionally happy. I haven’t done the research. But I’m an optimist.]
When I was traveling last year, there were a lot of times when I just walked around a new town doing as close to nothing as possible: I stood in a crowd in Australia and watched a 13-year-old busker croon for an hour. Watched thunderclouds roll over Penang, Malaysia from the top of a hill.
I laid on the roof of my hostel in Manila listening to jeepneys and airplanes and the rest of the city’s orchestra. Watched geese battle ducks (the geese won) for breadcrumbs at a park in London. Took in sunsets (and sunrises) from beaches to hilltops, to floating bar hammocks, to abandoned concert stages, to campsites under Icelandic waterfalls.
On a trip full of great moments, those were some of the best. Simply kicking back and realizing that the world is really damn cool and that we are lucky to even be in it.
Among all the pub crawls, walking tours, train rides and concerts last summer are these little reminders to take it easy and really enjoy where you’re at, when you’re there, wherever there may be.
As far as I’m aware, we’re much more complex creatures than farm animals. But if baby goats can have that much fun – or if your dog can get that excited just to walk down the street with a rope attached to its neck for half an hour – why can’t we?
Well, we can. One thing I try to do is at least get a glimpse of the sunrise and sunset each day. When I ride my bike downtown, I make an effort to sail down my favorite hill. I’ve been “exploring home” a lot more recently.
Whether it’s watching the sunset after work, playing with your pets before work, or laying in the grass on your lunch break, just try to get out and do something very basic that will bring you joy every single day.
You may not have the boundless energy of a baby goat, but you can still recognize life for what it is: fun.