Happy Little Moments

Red Panda Bamboo Leaves Watercolor Painting

For our prompt of “Red Panda” today, I tried to sketch one with a touch of a smile. It was a lovely day today and I was in a particularly happy mood. There wasn’t any one thing causing this feeling of glee, just a series of nice little moments that happened throughout the day. That’s my favorite kind of day. The kind where I wake up with no expectations, yet then find the day still managed to exceed them all as though I’d actually had high hopes after all. The sun was shining and it was just a touch warmer today and that certainly added a bit of happiness. But, some days, it’s hard to tell why they just happen to shine a bit more than others. Perhaps it’s a random act of kindness I received from a total stranger or maybe just the smell of my favorite dish cooking on the stovetop. What I think I love most in life is that it takes so little for me to feel like this. For me, it’s proof that there’s always something awesome to appreciate about life. And, it’s usually not the thing you might expect. Chances are good, instead, it’s all of the little things you didn’t expect.

We went with a friend today to see Titanic The Musical, which was a wonderfully performed show. Though not a particularly cheery story, to be sure. It was a community theatre production and the talent was simply amazing. It made me so happy to see such wonderful actors in our city, performing at a level far beyond what one might expect. And like most times when I see a show like this, I got that little urge to do theatre again like I did so many years ago. It passes quickly as I realize I have no time whatsoever for such things, but part of me longs to be on that stage again. I’ll still sing in my car while driving down the road, at least, imagining what it might be like to perform. It’s nothing like the real thing, of course, but I just like to remind myself that I still “could” do it. Sure, I’m the only audience so it’s entirely possible I’m not that great, but in my mind I’ve still got it. Some sing in the shower, and I have to admit to doing the same. Our shower is a steam shower and has rather wonderful acoustics, so sometimes I’ll find myself belting out a show tune. It just feels good to relive moments from long ago.

And yet, I still love every minute that I’m living in today. While we were out shopping for groceries today, the girl in front of us suddenly leapt to the next line. We realized the light had gone off at the register, but I asked the cashier if it was indeed closed. As it turns out it was just a change of shift and someone else was immediately coming next. So, I started to place my groceries and then paused and invited the girl who was in front us to go first. She blushed and said, “no, that’s fine,” but I insisted. “You were here first,” I said, but even knowing this, still caused the man behind us to scowl and grumble while moving on to a different line. I felt sorry for that man. His day wasn’t going quite as well as mine, or maybe, none of his days feel like this. I guess the world is only as happy as you choose to make it. Or, maybe being behind an optimist while waiting in a long line is the worst thing that could ever happen to a pessimist. But, I for one, can’t imagine a life where I didn’t always notice and appreciate those happy little moments.

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Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre,Quinacridone Red, Leaf Green, Cobalt Turquoise, and Indigo. Staedtler Pigment Liners in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
Red Panda Bamboo Leaves Watercolor Painting Sketchbook Detail
Recommended3 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
  1. Sandra Strait 1 year ago

    Yay for days that exceed expectations! We had a little sunshine for a change for my day was made as well!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 year ago

      Yay! Thrilled to hear it Sandra! 😃💕Yeah, I have to admit that even if I’m not a fan of a hot summer, the sun always recharges me!

  2. Karen Fortier 1 year ago

    Love your smiling red panda Charlie! Glad your day was great and getting to see local theater is always a plus! A quieter day here which was much needed. Fighting with point of sale options for upcoming events. I’m likely making it more difficult than it needs to be.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 year ago

      Thanks so much, Karen! 😃💕hehe… yeah, I think we all have a tendency to make things harder than they have to be. So many times, I look back and think… wow… that shouldn’t have been that hard! 😉

  3. Mary Roff 1 year ago

    Sweet red panda,Charlie! Glad you had a happy day!!

  4. Aprilj Smith 1 year ago


  5. Lisa Ann Ulibarri 1 year ago

    Aweeeeeeee so beautiful!!! I would love to see one of these critters for real them seem to be playful and sweet 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 year ago

      Thanks so much, Lisa! 😃💕 They are such awesome creatures! I love watching them, but have only been able to see them in zoos so far.

  6. Zertab Quaderi 1 year ago

    This looks super!

  7. Gary Middleton 1 year ago

    Fantastic painting Charlie. Unlike you we’ve had two weekends running of stormy weather. Last week storm Ciara and this week Dennis. We did get to go to town and visit a new exhibition at the museum about an iron age mans’ burial. That made both very happy. We then got home before Dennis arrived.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 year ago

      Thanks so much, Gary! 😃💕 Oh wow… glad you got to sneak out to something fun and interesting before the next storm hit!

  8. Jodi m 1 year ago


  9. LoriCtoo 1 year ago

    He is so cute. You make him look easy to do, so now I am ready tackle him. I love those kind of days where we are just happy. I usually get a lot of those around the holidays. 😉

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 year ago

      Thanks so much, Lori! 😃💕 Aww yay! I’m thrilled I inspired you to tackle one! They’re the cutest little creatures! And yeah, the holidays are my jam, but I try to extend that feeling as long as I possibly can! hehe

  10. Lisa 1 year ago

    The great optimist verses pessimist debate. I’m the Optimist with a capital O, while hubs is a pessimist most of the time. I like to think I rub off on him, but that may be my Optimism showing.😂😂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 year ago

      haha! Yeah, I think I always feel the same way when met with a pessimist. I have to believe that I’m getting through somehow! 😉 hehe

  11. Linda Calverley 1 year ago

    What a gorgeous red panda!

  12. shawnthompsonart 1 year ago

    Nice panda, I can see you added Magenta and Yellow to the Orange of the Panda!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 year ago

      Thanks so much, Shawn! 😃💕 Yeah, I usually toss in the colors that I’ve picked for the sketch wherever I can. It seems to add a little more life and pulls things together.

  13. Nancy 1 year ago

    Charlie, I love your optimistic outlook. Good for you always finding the positives. When I have to wait in a long line I try to stay upbeat by reminding myself that I am fortunate to have the money to buy things and the opportunity and freedom to shop for anything. Like you, I sometimes feel sorry for people who seem to need to grumble and gripe all the time. What a sad way to live. My husband and I love local theater too. We went to see “Tommy” (also not an incredibly cheerful story like Titanic) but incredibly well done by a theater group in a local town. There were only about 124 seats for the performance but the singing and the use of lighting and set design was amazing. I’m a “behind the scenes girl” but my husband did some amateur theater a while back and he too feels the pull whenever we go. Have a great week. Love your little panda.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 year ago

      Thanks so much, Nancy! 😃💕 Glad you enjoyed this one! And yay to always staying positive. It’s just a happier way to live! And so cool that your husband did theatre and still feels the pull. I think once you’ve done a show, it’s hard to ever let that feeling go entirely.

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