I want to tell you about my day today. No, it wasn’t a bad day, the sort of day that we often want to talk about, when everything goes wrong. It was a good day, of the sort we much too often take for granted.
Here are a few tips for celebrating the simple things in life.
Getting a Good Night’s Sleep
This good day started with a good night’s sleep – not something I am able to achieve very often. We older women tend to complain to each other about our difficulties in getting to sleep – or the long hours in the early morning when we were awake. But a good night’s sleep, as we all know, is wonderful. You feel so completely refreshed.
Enjoying a Glorious Day
But the special thing was that it was a glorious day – sunny, blue skies, warm, but not too hot, with a gentle breeze.
It was the sort of day that makes people smile as they walk down the street. I went out for some errands and chatted to a neighbour, in part about the day and in part about the good things in our lives. She told me how she loved being retired, doing nothing, whereas I talked about how I love writing my books . We smiled together about how everybody is different!
I mentioned that I felt we took the good things a bit too much for granted.
Sharing with Grandchildren
But my ruminations on this issue had started two days ago. I had been walking down the street with my seven-year-old grandson, taking him to a doctor’s appointment. We had crossed a busy street and had held hands for the purpose, but he didn’t let go.
We walked for ages with his little hand in my bigger one, talking about whatever was on his mind. And I suddenly thought what a wonderful simple pleasure that is. That trusting child, feeling safe in your hands. What more can you ask?
And there are, of course, so many more joys associated with children. Watching an active toddler finally sleeping, watching a child of any age begin to understand something they had not understood before. We, as adults, can only sit back and marvel.
Eating Simple Food
And then there was lunch – for me, some tomatoes, cheese, good bread and a bit of yogurt flavoured with turmeric. Nothing fancy, but nonetheless fresh, healthy and delicious. And I then made some brownies, as my husband had asked for them. Now, there is a combination of ingredients that can hardly be bettered. And they came out well.
Appreciating Timeless Pleasures
The simple pleasures of a beautiful day, a trusting child, even food, have been the subject of many a poem, essay or other form of commentary, probably from the year dot.
But does it take getting older to really appreciate these pleasures? When you are younger, you are much more likely to rush. Yes, you say, it is a lovely day and then you rush on to your appointment or to collect your child from school or whatever it is that fills your time. You don’t really stop and just feel the moment.
You know you should, but on the whole, you don’t.
Visiting a Friend
And toward the end of the afternoon, I went to visit a friend in hospital. Like me, she does her best to keep herself fit, but she had the bad luck to have fallen and broken her femur. She had had surgery, loads of pain, pain killers, side effects from the medication and so forth. She smiled bravely, but it was clear she was not certain when she would get back to normal.
I walked back from the hospital, as the sun was low but still bright and buildings were glowing – my son calls this “the golden hour,” a new phrase to me – and realised I had missed the most important thing of all.
Simply being able to walk.
I sometimes think we need a wake-up call to appreciate the ordinary things in life. What about you?
What are the simple things in life to you? Do you pay attention to them often enough? What simple pleasures do you think people too often ignore? Please share in the comments.