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Finding Extraordinary in the Ordinary

Finding Extraordinary in the Ordinary

Last week I went out for dinner with some friends. 

Over dinner one of my friends and I started a conversation about how we were noticing that as we got older the things that now made us the happiest had changed over the years.

We both were finding that we now valued and appreciated more of the simpler things in life.

Spending time with our families at home, having a conversation with a friend over coffee, enjoying a great meal were just a few of the things that popped to the top of our lists.

As it turns out it looks like we’re not alone.  

In a study conducted of 200 people between the ages of 19 and 79 as to what their happy experiences were (both ordinary and extraordinary) they discovered that although all ages enjoyed both types of experiences they found that the older people received greater pleasure from what might be considered ordinary experiences than younger people.  Activities such as spending time with family, walking in the park, organizing a closet were just some the examples.

They also found that the joy found from ordinary versus extraordinary experiences is influenced by how much time a person feels they have left to live. 

People who believe they have an endless amount of time left (typically younger people) tended to take the day to day things for granted versus those who felt they didn’t have an endless amount of time.

As for my friend and I, whether it’s because we are getting older and realizing that our time here on earth is not going to be forever or because we are just learning to slow down and appreciate all the great people and experiences in our everyday lives – one thing is for sure, our thinking has shifted and the ordinary things are now in fact extraordinary.

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Susan Williams is the Founder of Booming Encore. Being a Boomer herself, Susan loves to discover and share ways to live life to the fullest. She shares her experiences, observations and opinions on living life after 50 and tries to embrace Booming Encore's philosophy of making sure every day matters.