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One thing about vacationing is it forces you to relax and do things out of the ordinary. So many of us get caught up in our day-to-day grind that we never take the time to just pause and appreciate the small things that we’re grinding for in the first place.

While vacationing in the Dominican Republic last week, I decided it would be a waste of a trip if I didn’t take in that beautiful Atlantic Ocean view. So, despite having no daily commitments or reason to awake early, I made it a point to get up early anyway to enjoy the sunrise (something I don’t normally do).

Surrounded by peace and quiet, my body automatically  relaxed and my mind reflected on life. I was appreciative of having an opportunity to view such a beautiful sunrise in such a serene setting. Something so simple became so big. You don’t have to pay to watch the sunrise. Little things.

I thought about this journey of mine and how blessed and fortunate I feel having had an opportunity to write a book, let alone, being able to share it with others. The fact that I have the option to sit and do what I enjoy doing is overwhelming. I’m grateful that a simple little act turned into an encouraging story for children. Little things.

As we enjoyed different experiences on our trip, I had an opportunity to see some of the Dominican’s poor population. I struggled with this, but not for obvious reasons. I was more frustrated with how this community seemed to be put on display, like an exhibit. Excursions come through these poor neighborhoods multiple times a day, and it made me curious to know if any of the proceeds from these excursions go back into these poor communities. Considering that bottled water is the only recommended drinking water in the Dominican, including for residents, and considering that I didn’t see one resident in these poor communities with any bottled water, I doubt it. I feel that the malnourished children in their broken down shacks supports my theory of proceeds not going back into that particular community. Again, I was counting my blessings and appreciating having drinking water readily available whenever I need it. Little things.

I decided to bring one thing back with me on our return home. I promised I would take time out to enjoy the morning sunrise. Even if I don’t do it daily, there’s no excuse not to enjoy such a simple blessing from my own home. It’s just as peaceful here that early in the morning as it was taking in that ocean view. Now, there are certain things that take away from the ambiance such as instead of enjoying the sunrise over the ocean, it’s over my neighbor’s roof top, but it’s still the sunrise all the same.

We get tired and find ourselves questioning why we stress over doing something that others could probably care less about. But if we pause for a moment to reflect on all the wonderful little things in our lives that either led to this very moment, or act as reminders of why we do what we do, then it truly makes it all worth it.

Take pause to appreciate the little things, then write on!