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The Little Joys: Sitting Outside

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On weekends, I usually have big expectations. Weekends are the time when everyone in my family is free, at least to a greater extent than they are during the week. “Let’s do something big and special!” With lockdown restrictions at ease, I have taken pleasure over the last few weeks in visiting neighboring towns. I do not have the confidence to travel far. Being in new environments has been fulfilling and a good reminder that there is a world out there, even if it may have been hidden for a while.

This weekend was different. My original plans were to visit a local coffee roastery. Those plans were cancelled after I realized that I did not need to travel outside of my town to have a good weekend. It has been a hectic week, to say the least. Schools have resumed which has introduced a new level of busyness into the lives of my family members. Those moments of strange ease that I felt at having nothing to do during lockdown have become less common than they were. A good thing? Perhaps. It makes me think that the world is still alive and kicking.

I visited a local coffee shop today. That would be the highlight of my day. I did have a nice breakfast. I went to a furniture store to look for a new desk chair. My chair is years old and is worn. The coffee shop was the event to which I was looking forward.

I never pass up the chance to visit a coffee shop. On the way, I always feel worried that there will not be any tables. I am blessed with a number of options for cafes to visit in my local town. I still get stressed that there will not be tables but I know there are other places I can go. It was particularly stressful today because my family stopped for a chat on the street with someone they knew while we were walking to the coffee shop.

When we arrived, we were presented with a big question: sit out or stay in? I usually sit in. I like the musak and the ambiance of the coffee shop. As it was a sunny day, my coffee compansions suggested that we sit outside. I was hesitant. I had images of me sitting inside and sipping on a nice cup of coffee. Alas it was not meant to be. We sat at the last outdoor table left and waited for a member of the coffee shop’s wait staff to come and take our order.

The sun was shining. It was a beautiful day. The first few minutes were spent worrying about being outside. What if it rains? What about the noises of the cars? Those worries quickly disappeared as I noticed how being outside made my family feel. We all felt just a little bit more alive.

We were never short of topics of conversation. Number plates of cars passing by. Wondering what the people in those cars are doing with their days. The inevitable discussion about whether the waiter is in fact processing your order. What if they forgot to add my order to the board? We spoke about our lives. We spoke about how things are changing. We took time out of the day.

In the glistening sun, I am reminded of the little joys of life. I took a photo of myself outside in the sun and thought to myself “this is just a wonderful moment.” I could not have envisioned a better time with my family. A delicious coffee? Check. (A flat white, in case you are interested.) Good company? I’m always down to spend time at a coffee shop with my family. Great weather? Yes, indeed.

I am now more comfortable sitting outside. The weather stayed pleasant. I was able to sip on an amazing coffee while my family spoke about their lives and what was going on around us. I admired my coffee. I inhaled the coffeee and analyzed its aroma.

The little joys make all the difference in the world. The joys like having control over what you put in your wrap that you order from a local restaurant; the joys of hearing other people talk in the background; the joys of seeing a photo that you know will look perfect in your house and purchasing that photo. The big things? They’re good every now and again. I’ll take a little joy any day of the week.

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