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Yesterday was filled with simple pleasures: a cold DP out of a can and a treadmill walk as I watched my new favorite Netflix series, Call the Midwife. I made two yummy meals for those close by and I worked uninterrupted on a “talk” I will give this week. I paid a few bills and I stood wonderstruck at the heavy falling snow. (I mean seriously, how many snowflakes did it take to cover our landscape with 2 feet of snow!)

It was an extraordinary day filled with simple pleasures. I sensed a sort of soothing “happiness” all day. Though I have to admit, I experienced it mostly because we were snowed in and I couldn’t go anywhere.

It makes me wonder why we don’t enjoy the simple pleasures of life more often? There is so much beauty around us; even in the storms. Or, as in my case, because of the storm.

I recently heard that Americans are wealthier that 97% of the world. And yet, we are certainly not the happiest. According to Psychology Today and the 2018 report on Happiness we rank 18th.

Considering we have opportunities to live big, to travel extensively, to eat excessively, and own our beautiful homes you’d think that we would be happier.

Instead, it is reported that our pursuance of the “good” life has “fueled greater disappointment, discontent, dissatisfaction.” We have more wealth, more power, more options, more freedoms... and less happiness.

Maybe the way we see our lives is a little cockeyed. Aren’t the simple things in our lives are the most precious. I wonder if we couldn’t experience more happiness if we would learn to lean into the simple pleasures that life offers us?

I believe it might work.

So I began writing down those things in my life that don’t cost anything (or very little) and they don’t make headlines but they give me cause to smile and enjoy.

1. Putting my feet up on the brown settee

2. Hot water with a slice of lemon

3. A hand written card from my aunt

4. Quiet

5. Watching the snow fall

6. The first sip of DP

7. Reading

8. A task completed

9. Popping bubble wrap

10. Clean sheets

11. Warm sugar cookies and milk

12. Hugs

13. A belly laugh

14. Playing with my grandbaby

15. A smile because I came into the room

In the midst of the storm yesterday I was forced (ok, yes because my car was stuck in the snow) to take a deep breath, to stretch my mind and body, to relax and embrace the simple pleasures of my life.

And it was wonderful.

Isn’t it true, aren’t we most content, the happiest and closest to the God when the moments of our lives are defined by the appreciation of all our experiences, especially the simple ones?

Want to be a happy American? Pray for another storm and spend the day savoring the simple pleasures.

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Larry and Linda Kloster sponsor this column.

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Community News Editor

Sally Ann Shurmur arrived at the Star-Tribune to cover sports two weeks after graduating from the University of Wyoming and now serves as community news editor. She was raised in Laramie and is a passionate fan of Cowboys football, food and family.

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