As I’ve gotten older, I’v begun to notice the smaller, less expected joys of life and recently, I can’t stop finding them. It’s one of those mysteries once you start looking, they present themselves, everywhere. This always happens too when I learn a new word in Spanish, suddenly I see it all around and I wonder what I thought it meant before I knew. How important it is to look around, outside of ourselves and past our phones. There’s a whole world happening and so often we overlook it. Some of the happy sights I’ve seen recently? A very old fat poodle waddling down the street. A woman in a suit dramatically reading The New York Times in the middle of a pedestrian crammed street. I still wish I’d been quick enough to photograph her. The sight made me giddy with joy, her arms were fully extended, she was absolutely in the way of everyone but seemed entirely oblivious. Antique, decades old doorbells outside buildings here in Barcelona; I always stop to marvel at them. I like to think of all the times they have been pressed and buzzed, all the fingerprints that with time tarnished their metal. The flower shop by my house owned by a French man, who every morning, dutifully drags half his stock out onto the street and arranges it perfectly. He creates a miniture plant haven right there on the stressful city sidewalk. While his flowers and plants are painfully expensive, I will always spend with him because of the beauty he presents daily to the street. Teenage couples in tangles of hoodies and limbs on benches. That kind of young, breathless love that I will never experience again, which is a relief in many ways but it’s a lovely sight to see. A cafe with flowers on the tables. That will always make me happy. I’ll stop and say, ‘look at these flowers, how pretty!’ to whoever I’m with. Any and every kind of retro typography on a store front; I adore. I have an entire folder on my computer of photos I’ve taken of these, anything from a barber shop to a podologist. I love the old men who set up plastic tables in the sun by the beach and wile away entire mornings playing board games together. Is there anything more relaxing, more heart warming to see? I think not. In fact, old people generally fascinate me, especially here in Europe, so many of them seem stuck in a time warp which is weirdly calming to me. That the old souls are still among us, resisting this milennial world we’ve forged and often curse. I am also very enthusiastic about vintage vehicules, my passions usually take form in old cars or vespas. Like this one here, or the old cream Mini Cooper, that for years always sits parked on the same street corner. I can count on one hand how many times it hasn’t been there, which ofcourse then has me preoccupied, wondering where it could be and why as I amble on with my errands. Tension cracking on a Friday early evening when work lets out for the weekend, it’s presence as powerful as the weather. The tables on terraces, filled with suits and beers, sighing with a relief you can’t hear but see. I’ve never had a 9-5 but it’s the only time in a week I can imagine how a Friday after work could feel. Puppies, those ugly old dogs that are somehow the most adorable, any kind of person reading any kind of book in public, the way a woman’s bag swings at her hip as she rushes to cross a street, shirtless men smoking cigarettes up high on balconies, any man carrying a bouquet, the few curious souls who lead pigs around on leashes as pets here in Barcelona…. I could go on and on. And while it might sound cliche, all these tiny, usually un-noticed things bring me peace. They make me happy. They remind that despite my internal, often melancholic world, there is all of this around to find joy in and no matter where life leads me, these small beautiful things will never go away, they will always be. As long as the world keeps spinning and we keep living, they are there to be observed and enjoyed. The ritual of noticing them and appreciating them is undoubtedly, my most relaxing routine.