I recently read the book Eat Pray Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert. She goes through a divorce and decides to take a year to eat, pray and love. Her first stop is Italy where her goal is to learn the language, eat and find pleasure. Wow – a girl after my own heart! Elizabeth talks about Americans being unable to find quiet pleasure. We all work too much! Hmmmmm – she has found me out!
“Of course, we all inevitably work too hard, then we get burned out and have to spend the whole weekend in our pajama’s eating cereal straight out of the box and staring at the TV in a mild coma (which is the opposite of working, yes, but not exacttely the same as pleasure!). Americans don’t reallly know how to do nothing.” We ask ourselves if we really deserve this pleasure and have we earned this happiness? I am sure you are all thinking… heck ya!
Well, I spent some time really thinking about this and asked myself some questions:
- How do I define pleasure?
- What would bring me pleasure right now?
- With nobody else’s agenda – no other obligations – what would I most want to do?
I am amazed at how difficult it was for me to answer those questions. I am a pleaser/peacemaker, so I spend my time making sure you are happy and content. It took some time, but I was able to come up with a small list of things that bring me quiet pleasure. Maybe I should call them “simple pleasures:
- people – talking, laughing, sharing, crying together
- books – loosing myself in someone else’s life (hmmm – could that be because I don’t know how to enjoy my own life?)
- sharing food with others – either out or cooking at home
- quiet conversations
- sitting next to a mountain lake (I have a very special one in mind)
- being anywhere with beautiful scenery and it is quiet
- journaling/writing – I would like to write a book… hey, maybe I will start a blog!
- intimacy – quiet, tender, gentle… TMI? 🙂
The picture above is one of my quiet pleasures – a good book, a Mike’s Hard Cranberry Lemonade, and a porch! So, what are your “quiet/simple pleasures?” Am I alone in my inability to really know what I want out of life and what brings me pleasure? I’m not so sure…