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Ask HN: What small thing helped you appreciate life more?
23 points by adawg4 on April 7, 2021 | hide | past | favorite | 32 comments
For me its taking morning walks.

Being deliberately thankful.

It's easy and natural to focus on what is wrong. That is good it drives us to improve.

I learned to do more than that. At the end of the day my wife and I list of a few things we are thankful for. It turns out this makes us way happier. It's not usually big things. I list things like I'm thankful that we have time and money to have a puppy.

Life is better than we recognize.

Sounds great, I'm going to adopt this idea

Taking time out from my job and responsibilities to engage in personal hobby programming projects (e.g. games). When I muster enough energy to actually engage in this, it makes me remember how much joy life can give you, rather than just being a constant grind.

It's also refreshing to have a sense of complete creative control over a thing, rather than being subject to external whims; the latter of which gradually chip away at your humanity.

Taking shrooms while snorkeling off the Osa peninsula in Costa Rica. Looking at the beauty of the fish and coral ecosystems and then looking at the dense rain forest on the landing, thinking that it’s just an extension of the coral.

While they sound fantastic neither part or them combined would qualify as small in any measure.

both of these things alone would work. hard to imagine the effects of them combined

Yeah seriously it was awesome in a very straightforward/organic way. Took 2g worth of liquid extract, which was nearly a perfect amount, maybe .5g more. Any more than that and I think I would be too distracted to swim/stabilize in the tide.

The best was right in the beginning as I was getting a little uncomfortable come up, there was a Sea Turtle right beneath me that my buddy pointed out. Came within 10 feet and was curiously looking at us. They hold their breath like us.

Really let's you relate at a deep level to the other animals/beings on earth and feel at ease as you "just do it" in life. Then all your neurotic life scenarios just seem silly afterwards.

"To see a World in a Grain of Sand

And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,

Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand

And Eternity in an hour."


Now that it's warmer outside, having tea with my wife on the porch while soaking up some rays. Also, like you OP, I started to walk around the neighbourhood. Fresh air, the sun, and enjoying the wind. Nature is a hell of a drug.

cycling, specially in these lockdown times. i'm not referring to racing or your road cycling. just getting on a bike and cycling somewhere, even randomly. i don't know why but i feel particularly free when i'm just cycling around. it has helped me improve my mental health. getting back to running too.

Kids. They're a lot smarter than people give them credit for. Discuss philosophy with my three year old. Have a conversation with my 6 month old baby. Even though I don't understand his language, I could guess at what he's saying. And one of my favorite moments is just sitting in the garage having a tea party with the kids.

It's also nice to have someone love you unconditionally, and someone you can give to and share everything with, without expecting anything back.

> Small thing > Kids

technically correct

I swear I am not joking: playing with and taking care of cats.

Every morning my dog wakes up full of energy, rushes down the stairs, and anxiously awaits as I get ready to take her on our morning walk. It's a good reminder on how to approach each day, even when I wake up tired and grumpy. Her days are all the same, walk, eat, nap, eat, walk, nap, eat, walk, sleep. If she can be excited about that, I can certainly appreciate the variety I get in my days and make the best of them.

I was always a dog person until I moved in with my partner who has cats. Having never lived with cats before I was amazed at how good they are at communicating with humans. Based on how they vocalise I know if they are asking for food, treats, or milk. I'm also now convinced that they have a sense of humour. Spending more time with them has been a really nice thing about this lockdown.

Agreed. My cats have saved my life several times over, especially over the last year.

Agreed. I got a kitten last year and he has taught me a lot.

Analog technology. Anything digital increasingly feels like work, but analog tech is often a joy to use. e.g bikes, small boats, hand tools, old cameras and hi-fi. I drove an old car recently, and the simplicity of it was really nice. It did have a radio, but no screen or ‘media centre’.

Lately it's been grilling and eating in my backyard. Some fresh air and hearing the birds chirp is great. Also seeing the Siberian Squills bloom in my neighborhood, painting the ground with a pretty blue/violet color.

A short moment of quiet introspection, wherever or whenever, which usually results in deep appreciation for both the moment and my life as a whole.

Also, really good espresso.

Growing vegetables... the mistery of nature unfolds before your eyes. And yet, some of that mistery is still concealed and at times you feel like witnessing a bit of magic!

An existential crisis, small and portable, just don't do it too frequently. A little bit like spinning up a big flywheel.

Ice cream. sounds like cliche from chick flicks but apparently it is based on fact.


Alcohol has always been a social-only thing for me, but during lockdown found that there's a place for solo consumption. I never got much into wines so have been taking the time to figure some of it out. Having a short glass with dinner, even alone has been a boost. I find I sleep better most nights. If I have more than a little, I'll wake up too early, not get back to sleep and wake up tired in the morning.

I make my own wine, beer, and mead. I think I need to reduce the beer portion of the hobby because it just tastes too good. I want 2 or 3 per night. The wine and mead are only occasionally, as was the store bought beer before I started making that.

My favorites are probably Irish red, NE IPA, and oatmeal stout. Maybe a dry hopped grislette.

It doesn’t work for me anymore. Even if I have a few I don’t get a buzz anymore. If I have a lot I black out and turn into an idiot.

Useless for me now.

I sort of went the opposite direction. I drank too much in college and had a naturally high tolerance. Now I can feel 2-3 beers if i didnt just eat a meal. I much prefer being a lightweight.

Does it have the same glowing effect though? In college I used to get like euphoric energy after the first few. Now I just get kinda slow and have a little headache after 2-3 beers... Although I do enjoy an Aperol Spritz on a hot afternoon in the summer or something.

Idk i think i'm basically done with it.

Cannabis! Mushrooms(?), you're depressed.

Having a baby.

Well it was small at first!

My dog

Playing Music

Eating at restaurants

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