My friend went away for the three-day Easter weekend. Before she left, she asked me if I’d stop in and check on her cat, Penny. Just make sure she has food and water, that sort of thing.
Penny the Cat lives across the street and two doors down. An easy hop, skip, and a jump for my boys and me to make several times a day. The first time we went to check on Penny, we arrived with board games and Mockingjay, juice boxes and string cheese, clearly ready to campout for several hours. And campout we did. Several rounds of Apples to Apples, a few go’s at Blokus, and three Mockingjay chapters later, we headed back home.
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed myself. To be out of our house, completely digging the change of scenery, kind of like a mini-vacation, minus the packing and traffic felt great! In some regards, it was better than a hotel; we weren’t tempted to turn on the TV, there was no XBOX console in the house, and I specifically asked my friend NOT to leave me her wireless password (those are all pluses to me). I wanted to enjoy the simple pleasures an empty house and a cat had to offer.
The following morning, I found myself sneaking over in my pj’s and slippers, cuppa tea in one hand, laptop in the other. I was ready to escape the constant video game/Disney channel noise at my house, eager to feel the quiet of the Cat House. Poised to enjoy the simple pleasure of quiet for 45 minutes, until my boys‘ timer would sound, and they’d come scrambling across the street, ready for more board games, Mockingjay, and Penny Play-time. (Win-win for all!)
This became our pattern. Mom goes over for 45 minutes of quiet, joined by boys later. And repeat. Several times a day, for three days.
For me, this falls under the category of Simple Pleasures. And I say, Never Underestimate the Power of Simple Pleasures. (Similar to my friend Sally who says, “Never underestimate the power of a pedi!” — I hear you, girl! Simple pleasures are where it’s at!)
I’m guessing many of you TLT readers are very hard workers, just as I feel I am. We’ve all heard it said, “Work hard, play hard.” I admire those who play hard — mostly because I suck at it. But I need the balance in my life. So, for me, a more accurate mantra is, “Work hard, relax hard.”
I’ve found that most of my favorite ways to relax involve these simple pleasures:
- tea with a friend
- being alone
- one-on-one dinner with another
- talking on the phone
- hanging out in an empty house with a cat
- hanging out in My empty house with My DOG
These are relaxing to me. These fill my cup. (And none involves crowds or drama. Very anti-crowd. Anti-drama.) These, to me, are better than a vacation. That’s not to say I’m anti-vacation — I’m not! But honestly, often there’s a lot of stress leading up to vacation… and sometimes it persists even after you’ve arrived.
That’s why I love relaxing into simple pleasures. Most are right at my fingertips, require no fuss, and are very doable (if I’ll just make the time to do them).
Let’s face it. We’re busy people, leading somewhat chaotic lives. It’s easy for me to see how irritability sets in so easily. These simple pleasures provide the balance I need for my personal constitution. I’ve found that with balance, I’m a much kinder, more patient, loving person. Any irritability I may have experienced seems to bounce right off. It has no power over me when I’m in a grounded, balanced place.
I believe gratitude/prayer, and Trusting What Is are all effective ways to strike this inner balance. And a nice helping of Simple Pleasures solidifies that winning formula.
What are your Simple Pleasures? What fills your cup? Jot them down, either in the comment section below, or somewhere you can easily see them. Know what they are, so you can Go There, Do That, as a way of balancing yourself out — on a regular basis.
See what happens when you begin to weave Gratitude/Prayer, Trusting What Is, and Simple Pleasures into your life… little by little, day by day.
Need some help? Not sure how? Let me know and I’ll help if I can. Want someone to celebrate with? Let me know and I’ll celebrate with you for sure!
I’m interested in your journey.
Click to Share this message of Simple Pleasures. Thank you. Love, Leslie