Easily Amused

After I pulled the dryer lint out of the lint trap, I took a closer look. It was really interesting–a mix of dark and light fibers. It looked like angry clouds, or a foaming ocean in a storm.

Dryer lint, threatening clouds, foaming ocean.

I sent the photo to a friend who said, “You are easily amused.” She meant no harm; It was a phrase you say when you don’t know what else to say, much like you ask “How are you?” without really expecting a specific answer.

I gave the phrase some thought. It happens to be true. I marvel easily, amuse easily, wonder easily and, most likely, over think easily.

Being easily amused is generally thought of as the realm of the child or the simple adult. But I’ve found that delighting often, being amused at life, from everything from dryer lint to fake honors, makes life a lot easier to bear.

We cannot expect life to be easy, perfect, glowing and filled with satisfying relationships. All those require work, and not all work is successful. No reason to stop trying, though.

Being easily amused means that life is lighter, frothier, and fits more comfortably than we have a right to expect. There are many perfect moments in life, but we have to recognize them. There is no limit to love, amusement, or feeling good. Reach out for as much as you want. There is enough for everyone.

Quinn McDonald is an optimist and occasional over-thinker. She would rather laugh once too often than be serious once too often.

24 thoughts on “Easily Amused

  1. Amen! I always say I am easily amused. I am. Not simple (one hopes!:)), but I try and always see the small moments and say thank you for them. I can spend more than enough time dwelling on the big things, that noticing the small things gives me a chance for some space and some perspective as well. It doesn’t take much for me to lose perspective on the big things as well…sometimes they are not nearly as big as I have thought them into being.

  2. I am another one of your readers who is “easily amused.” I am especially touched by nature that surrounds me. The dragon flies have been plentiful this summer and I am delighted every time I see one flying around near me. They are so beautiful. I have a lovely flower garden that the dragon flies, bees and butterflies are crazy about. I love watching them as they suck up the “nectar” from the flowers. They especially LOVE my cone flowers and lavender. Now that lavender is another thing that makes me smile. When I planted it last summer it was a tiny plant. In just one year it has probably grown to at least 10 times its size or more. That makes me so happy! I love to hear the birds singing outside and to watch them flying around. We spotted a funny bird one day kind of “creeping” up our tree and when I googled it discovered that it was called a brown creeper. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brown_Creeper Amazing. I enjoy watching the squirrels chasing one another in our yard and lately there have been numerous rabbits in our area that are also delightful to watch. I enjoy looking for four leaf clovers and have been pretty successful over the years finding them. I read an article some years ago in Country Living magazine that recommended looking for the square in the sea of triangles and that tip really helped. Now I seem to be able to spot the four leaf clovers much easier and find them regularly when I look for them. I am fascinated by bird’s nests and all the various materials that the birds find to create their homes. They are the ultimate “interior designers”! At the zoo I love watching the otters playing, swimming and chasing one another. I assist/teach in a kindergarten classroom and the things that the children say and do delight me to no end. I guess I am just a kid at heart and so these simple things give me great pleasure and allow me to be “easily amused”. That is the best way to be I think. Glad to be “in the club” with you Quinn!

    • You have found deep meaning in being easily amused–because it also means satisfied, entertained, bouyed up, and pleased. You have learned to see beyond the surface and into the “square heart” of life. What a wonderful experience you must live every day!

  3. I too am easily amused. I find it interesting and a bit disturbing when someone asks what the point is of my making art in different mediums. That was not someone who thinks of art as being anything special. Strange, I find all art special in some way, even if it is not a piece that I really find intriguing in its message to me. I look at the work, materials, the ideas used and how the artist put it all together. Regardless of whether it’s sugar cubes mounted into a pyramid, stucco slathered over a board and painted, or what have you, I can easily sit, look at it and dream. Sad, right? I sent a video to someone last week who watched it and asked what the point of it was. The video was of a flash mob dancing on a beach to a montage of music. It was choreographed so well and had me in stitches. The point of it was to have fun, something I’m wondering if many people know how to do sometimes. Yes, I’m easily amused and not shy about saying so.

  4. I so totally agree! Even though I tend to be a “hurry up, the glass is almost empty” kind of person, I can be delighted by, in and with some of the most “childish” people/places/things. That’s why I call myself the Child-like Empress.

  5. I saw a video story on Sunday Morning some time ago talking about a woman who used dryer lint to create paintings. She would actually choose what colors she needed and buy blankets, towels etc. to get the lint. Her paintings were pretty amazing.

    • You’ve got to love someone like that! I used to stop people in my neighborhood who were wearing cotton sweaters whose colors I loved. I’d ask if I could wash them. Pretty eccentric, but I got lots of colors!

  6. using the lint to add color to my handmade paper – what a wonderful idea – and particularly since i’ve been trying to make linen based paper – the lint after i wash and dry a new piece of linen before i cut into what ever i’m creating is a great way to get the linen and the color – thanks for the idea.

    currently i use my was to make fire starters for my fireplaced in the winter and the fire pit in the summer – reuses cardboard egg cartons, lint, and old wax candles.

    as to being easily amused – would like to say that i’m able to do this regularly – unfortunately can’t say that i am – but i do know when i begin to look at life too seriously – i pick up my granddaughters for the day and just seeing life thru their eyes helps me return to my child like wonder. my way of adapting.

  7. I have fellow spinners who happily turn dryer lint into yarn. I’m sure that it could have plenty of other uses as well in mixed media; imagine it set into acrylic paint, gesso or gel medium! Or used in felt! Or the photo blown up, printed on fabric, and then embellished with beads and stitching!
    There is nothing wrong with seeing the possibilities and being amused by them. I would much rather see the wonders of our world through the eyes of a child who still has the time and the skill to look at and examine the little things, than to gaze at life with world-weary eyes.
    Now please excuse me while I rethink what I was going to do with that mattress stuffing I bought last year ………………!

    • I’ve seen people spin dryer lint into yarn–it’s fascinating. I used to add it to my handmade paper, if it was all cotton. In the late winter, I put it outside for the birds. You are right, it’s a wonderful raw material.

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