On stopping to smell the roses….

A little more than ten years ago, I was living in Minnesota and generally hating life. So to help myself make it through some really rough days, weeks, and months, I started writing down things that made me happy. I called them Simple Pleasures. My best friend would help me from time to time…she came up with “standing on a dock and looking around.” We discovered that Simple Pleasure on a choir tour during the fall of that awful year.
The list eventually got so long, I had to take it to the computer and type it out. It filled an entire page in a rather small font.
I found and read through that list the other night. There are things on there I had completely forgotten about (crunching, flashlight prayers, canoeing…) and things that I currently hate (Fall, cold weather) and things that will remain a Simple Pleasure till the day I die (fun pens, reading books I have no intention of buying, looking at Christmas lights).
I found myself crying a couple times, reading all those forgotten things. Sometimes it’s nice to get a reminder of things that used to make me happy, even if I don’t particularly care for those things now. It makes me think it’s okay to change, to grow, to develop. I can’t remember a time when I ever like Fall, but apparently I did at some point or I wouldn’t have written it down.
Many of the things on that list probably wouldn’t cross my mind now…like The Northern Lights. I’m just not in a place where that’s a regular occurrence so I never think of how happy they make me. I do wonder though: if I were to create a 30-year-old Simple Pleasures list, what would make this list now?
Belly laughter. Hearing a baby giggle. Feeling appreciated. Proving myself wrong just when I need it. Accomplishing a goal, even if it took over ten years to do it. Bottomless mimosas. Creating a beautiful meal. Centerpieces. Knowing I’m really good at what I do. Buying cheese and meat fresh from the deli. Long, hot showers for no reason. Farmer’s markets. Anticipation of the exciting and unknown. Someone telling me I’m brave. New tattoos. Eating hummus in excess. Cracking open a bottle of wine. Pizza, brownies, and champagne – all at the same meal. Believing in romantic comedies. My signature. Pampering myself because I can…and should.

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