The Value of Small Gestures (Like a Bowl of Chips) #3

Categories Personal Growth
the value of small gestures quite frank lee

If I had to describe my mood of late it would be as “on edge”.

I’m anxious. Things are fine but I can’t really switch my brain off.

Today I got home from work — well almost — I tried to parallel-park my car and failed miserably. This happens a lot. I rode the curb, drove around in a circle waiting for the shame to wear off, came back to my own place, and parked further up the road. A good start to the weekend.

Swapping my quasi-work trousers for joggers, I grabbed the remote to the TV in my room and hit the big red button: Netflix. I ate the remaining half of a packet of peanut cookies with a large cup of tea, for comfort. During five episodes of How I Met Your Mother, I proceeded to eat approximately 200g of peanut M&Ms. (The peanut thing was a coincidence.)


There was a time not so long ago when I would have plans on a Friday night. But this week and last, I felt like I needed some headspace.

There’s nothing wrong with that. I also felt like I needed a drink — I haven’t so much as sipped a beer since NYE so I don’t have a problem, I promise.

The quest was on. I’m about to embark for the corner shop. I’ve dismissed the tragic image of me placing a sole pack of beer on the counter, by telling myself the cashier would take me for a student, off to some party. Yeah right.

I’m about to leave when dinner pops to mind. I should probably eat something with less peanuts and sugar. The answer was not chicken nuggets but quornnuggets, I’m a bit of a quorn-fan. You should see my freezer.

“Can I make you some chips to go with those?”

It was my housemate. Now this was an unusual gesture. We get on fine but keep to ourselves. We make small-talk in the kitchen — not meals for one another. At first, I hesistated. But then I said “Yes please, if you wouldn’t mind, I’d really appreciate that”. Because I did really appreciate it.

My actual chips

I’m not kidding. This one small gesture lifted my mood this evening. It interrupted my line of thought and flicked a switch.

Walking to the cornershop, I felt somehow lighter. There is something about being cooked for, even if it is a bowl of chips, that is comforting. I’m sure he didn’t think anything of it, but I did. Heck, I’m writing a blog post about them.

My Friday night went from a plate of quorn nuggets, drinking alone, to an actual meal and beers with my housemate. (I say beers with my housemate, I offered him one as a thank you and retreated to my room to write this post.)

But what a difference that makes.

Things are looking up: a friend I haven’t seen in a while just text me about meeting up next weekend. Today is his birthday. He’s out this evening but he thought to stop and text me. I appreciate that.


However your day went, there was something to appreciate. I’m sure of it.

If you could be in a better headspace right now, maybe go for a walk and get some air (preferably not on a booze run). Eat a proper meal (preferably not a bowl of nuggets and chips). Create something. You’ll feel better.

If you know someone who seems a little off lately, or just someone who would appreciate it, drop them a text. Invite them round for a bowl of chips.

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