Simple Pleasures Rock!
My life used to be much more complicated than it is now. I used to commute 40 miles to work on congested Massachusetts highways, spending up to 1 ½ hours in the car each way. That is 15 hours per week sitting in the car. I had a stressful job, working on average 45 hours per week for a company that always seemed to be putting out fires instead of accomplishing anything. I had to travel an hour to visit my close friends and 7 hours to spend time with my family. Life was tough.
After several years of doing this awful commute I found a job less than 5 miles from my house making the same amount of money. I still had an hour drive to see friends and a 7 hour drive to reach my closest family members. But I had 15 extra hours per week that I no longer had to spend sitting in my car to do with as I pleased. I had time to exercise, to garden, to take my dog on long walks. Life was improving!
I currently drive 25 minutes to work an average of 3 days per week. My dog comes along for the car ride and I bring her to my brother’s house. I’m not sure who is happier with the arrangement! My honey and I live 1 mile from my sister, 20 miles from my brother and I get to spend plenty of time at the cottage with my Mom 6 months of the year. I have game nights with family, my garden has doubled in size and my little blue kayak gets used a lot more! Life Rocks!
I actively pursued a more simple life and by doing so I created more time to engage in my simple pleasures. I am much calmer, happier and more relaxed with my new life then my old one. We live in a world that encourages endless hustle and bustle both at work and at home. We can get caught up in thinking that being highly productive is good while regarding a quiet day at home as wasted time.
On a busy day at work I still feel like I don’t breathe right. I just hustle through the day, work through my lunch break and rush to get home. There are days when I forget to pee, to drink a glass of water or to ask my co-workers how they are. There are times when I am almost jogging to my car forgetting that I have already punched out for the day and don’t need to rush anymore.
Life is not meant to be lived like a hamster running on a wheel. It is time to slow down and breathe. I have a 10 minute homework assignment for you if you are up for it! It is designed to get you to think about the little things in life that you enjoy. All you need is a pencil, paper and a stopwatch. On the top of the paper write down SIMPLE PLEASURES. Set the timer for 10 minutes and when I say GO I want you to write down 10 things that are simple to do and that you find pleasurable. Take a few minutes to breathe in and out. Again. Breathe in and out. Are you ready?
When I review my list it looks like this:
- My first cup of hot tea in the morning
- Cuddling with my honey before getting out of bed
- My dog pushing open the bathroom door to visit me in the morning
- A cold beer in the hot sun
- Playing in my garden
- Cooking a yummy meal
- Outdoor dining
- Game nights with family and friends
- Sitting in front of a fireplace
- Chilling with my friends
- Taking a walk in the woods
- Watching the sunset and the sunrise
- Sitting in my kayak in the middle of the lake
- Skinny dipping at midnight
The challenge in this hustle and bustle world is to find the time to routinely engage in your simple pleasures. Being productive IS a good thing – especially when you are productively engaged in simple things that give you pleasure. Doing these simple things with people you love is even better!
So grab another piece of paper and your pencil and go Sculpt Your Day!
Make sure it includes what you need to do, a few action steps toward your goals and a few simple pleasures to enjoy. If you are living a very stressful life and can’t fathom adding a simple pleasure, at least savor the ones that happen spontaneously. For me this would be really enjoying my tea vs just drinking it. Taking time to give my dog loving and enjoying the moment vs simply patting her on the head when she visits me in the bathroom.
I wrote down 14 Simple Pleasures in 5 minutes. How did you do? Feel free to share your list in the Comments Section! I am always looking for fun, simple pleasures to add to my day!