Now that the big celebrations are over and we begin a new year, let’s look at simple pleasures. Ordinary and tiny things may seem mundane but can make a significant difference in a day, especially a challenging one. These may be things we take for granted and thus forget to even notice. Let’s bring our curiosity, imagination, and playfulness to this daily opportunity.
Some Simple Pleasures in my life:
Remembering my childhood:
- Reading in the hammock in my back yard
- Walking with my cousin Bill and my grandmother in her field picking and eating wild strawberries
- Playing outside in the snow after dinner.
- My mother flashing the porch light to come inside to warm pajamas and hot chocolate
More recent decades
- Being outside for the blue hour (an example is the banner photo in this post)
- Weeding (I know it sounds weird)
- Sitting in a favorite spot watching the clouds or daydreaming
- A routine walk
- Cycling with a friend
- A cup of coffee at Wild Oats by myself or with a friend (I miss this since Covid)
- Morning walk with my grandson
- Sketching simple drawings
- Lighting a special small candle and reading a poem aloud to myself
- A cup of Gen Mai Cha in a special cup
- Eating from a beautiful small bowl
- Spotting a cardinal
- Finding a parking space
- Christmas card snowflakes through the windowpane
- The smell of warm gingerbread baking
- Taking time to read during the day
- Checking things off my to do list
- Receiving a new poem
- Passing on a poem
- Sweet words of encouragement
- An unexpected letter from a friend
- Tidying up my workspace
- A dish of dried fall leaves close to my computer– still colorful
I can imagine that we may have small pleasures in common and there will be many that are unique to each of us. I doubt if anyone likes weeding or dried-up fall leaves the way I do. I invite you to notice your own small pleasures and take the time to enjoy them.
You may want to consider deliberately adding some rest notes throughout your day in the form of simple pleasures. Maybe take 5–15-minute intervals, (without turning this also into a task-oriented life) in order to actually enjoy this wonderful gift of waking up. In order to enjoy your own contributions.
I’m thinking of the pauses we could interject to breathe, gaze out the window, read a poem, scribble in our journals, or close our eyes. A mindful walk through the day where we aren’t running to catch up or just for exercise, but rather walking and noticing the beauty of the sights and sounds. Being present to what unfolds…
“Laura Vanderkam has some surprising advice for you: go ahead and buy that latte. Unlike the legions of naysayers who counseled people to abandon their Starbucks habit during the recession to save a few bucks a day, Vanderkam contends in her new book that it’s the small pleasures that matter the most and giving them up is a mistake.”
The happiness guru, Gretchen Rubin asks the question, “How can simple pleasures actually make us happier? Indeed, they can, according to Rubin, author of The Happiness Project and Happier at Home. “It’s not life changes like a new house or a fancy car that make the most impact, but sometimes little things like the smell of an orange, which give the biggest happiness boost,” says Rubin. She adds, “Over and over, people tell me something like cleaning out a medicine cabinet gives them a huge jolt of good cheer and energy.”
May you notice and enjoy the abundance of simple pleasures available in daily living.
Warmest greetings from Trudy