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Savoring Simple Pleasures

By • Mar 16th, 2008 • Category: Featured Articles, Feeling Well, Lifestyle Choices

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Our days are busy and our lives are filled with responsibilities and other concerns. These are reasons enough to seek out and savor simple pleasures. 

What are simple pleasures? Well, they are those things, times, activities and conventional or quirky practices that we often overlook or deny ourselves because we are too busy making a living and honoring commitments to enjoy them. Are you one of those people who complain that you don’t have the time, money or some other resource to devote to such things?

There is nothing wrong with occasionally treating ourselves to an extravagant gift or a long well-deserved time-off or vacation. However, most enjoyable pleasures don’t require long stretches of time. Nor do they depend on bulging wallets, well-designed spaces, trendy clothes etc. Most often, you can find them in everyday, inconsequential and impromptu moments. They lurk in between the recurring run of our daily routines. They turn up in the predictable and unplanned encounters in familiar and unlikely places. I believe that God uses simple pleasures to ease our troubles, calm our minds and soothe our souls.

I‘ve learned the importance and experienced the benefits of seeking out simple pleasures. They force me to slow the pace in the rush of my days and count my blessings. They allow me to cradle a few minutes to indulge my passion for writing by scribbling a thought or inspiring idea in my ever-handy notebook. Even more important, my life is enriched whenever I take the time to savor my simple pleasures because they help me to focus more on God and His goodness and less on what I may think is lacking in my life.

Most of my simple pleasures are found in silence and solitude, where I can observe and meditate on the rhythmic ebb and flow of life and find inspiration for writing. Here are some of my favorite simple pleasures:

Spending quiet time with God.

Everyday, I cherish quiet, uninterrupted time with God. Prayer, meditation and reading my Bible are daily spiritual vitamins to my soul.

Listening to birds sing.

I missed hearing birds sing when my days began and ended in darkness and the in-between hours were over-shadowed by an air-conditioned office and the noise of the traveling masses. Now I can enjoy them all day, especially in the morning. Their singing is a vivid reminder that God is the divine creator, who declared all that He created to be "good," and He has blessed me with a new day.

Writing by hand.

As a child, a scolding and a good licking always led me to write long letters of apology to my mother. The love of writing by hand remained throughout my life. Despite the ease and speed of the computer, I still prefer to write my to-do lists, research notes and drafts by hand. Keeping a journal of course is the ultimate practice that allows me to enjoy this simple pleasure.

Investigating Words.

I read the dictionary. There, my secret is out. I open it to check one word. Fascinated, I move from one word to another and the next thing I know, twenty, thirty minutes have gone by and I’ve forgotten the reason I opened the dictionary in the first place. Reading the dictionary is one of the ways I use to take a break from my writing routine. I have several notebooks filled with words I’ve discovered on these forays.

Reading biographies and journals.

Other people’s lives fascinate me whether they write the stories themselves or they are written by someone else. The everyday shenanigans of the idle rich don’t interest me. I have a heart for the stories about peoples’ inspiration and determination to rise above their circumstances and achieve their dreams. How writers especially, handle the joys and frustrations of life and their passion for writing make for hours of pleasurable reading.

Relaxing on the porch.

After mentioning this so many times before, you know that this is one of my favorite pastimes. Sitting with a cup of tea, my journal, a magazine or book, notebook, pen and dictionary – I can get lost in that scenario for hours.

The rush and reality of the busyness of modern-day life can blind us to the beauty that shines through the ugly, deafen us to the voices in our own hearts and weaken our ability and desire to seek and embrace life’s simple pleasures.

Simple pleasures ease your personal burdens and the anguish you might be feeling about some situation. What simple pleasure makes you pause? What places, memories and practices make you relax and smile and make your heart sing and dance?

It’s so very easy to let some of life’s basic simple pleasures slip by and out of our lives while we hustle to and fro getting this and that done. But it is just as easy to rediscover them either through the quiet contemplation of the present moment or a blissful memory from our past. 

Simple pleasures surround us on our walk through life. You don’t have to readjust your whole life, disrupt anyone else’s routine or take a day off from work. A simple pleasure may be close by or just a memory away. Find yours, weave them among your commitments and savor them every chance you get, even if just for a moment. 

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