“Happiness is not a station you arrive at, but a manner of traveling.” (Margaret Lee Runbeck)
I remember my boyfriend in my early 20’s saying, “you know Felice, when you ask me how my day was, you seem to be looking for some special story or experience…but for me a day is just a day.” I dumped him.
A day is not just a day…it never is. The older I get, no different than you all I’m hoping, the more I realize how precious time is. But, time (its passage) is something that happens to us. Pleasures are something we choose.
So, rather than giving stuff up at the New Year, (I’m not planning on paring down); I’m stepping in more deeply to daily pleasures which bring joy and happiness.
It was way too easy to make this list (try doing it yourself). What gives you joy each day? What can you do more of to bring joy into your life that doesn’t cause you or others harm? Why not embrace those joys? (Please share your pleasurable ideas in the comments area below to give us all a few more ideas).
- Constant feedings: I should have been born a horse with a feedbag. I feel better, sleep better and have better energy when I nosh. In 2017, I plan to eat when hungry and not as much at mealtime if I’m not hungry. My body wants to be fed small amounts often …it knows when it needs to be fed. Turns out I’m never light headed or have low energy and sleep way better with this eating strategy.
- Life is better with butter. Preferably lightly salted butter. French butter is lovely as is Vermont butter but my most favorite, I discovered this October in Ireland, was Kerry Gold butter. It doesn’t come in modest sizes, it comes in a chunk the size of a bar of soap. Everything is better with butter and I will not be giving it up in 2017.
- Pass the SALT please! Good salts never disappoint. They kick up the flavor of a poached egg in the morning with avocado toast, snacks of cherry tomato and more avocados, even afternoon radishes and evening chocolate. Like a good wine connoisseur, I have become a salt aficionado who can distinguish between Himalayan pink, Maldon chips, Thai and charcoal salts from Hawaii. I don’t shake my salt on my food I take “pinches” and scatter it. I’m not giving that up either in 2017.
- Clouds of Joy in my morning coffee. Why drink black coffee when you can have the lightest cloud of pleasure in your morning beverage. Once I discovered the Nespresso frother, my morning coffee became a party in my cup. Light, buoyant and fluffy, frothy milk feels like a bubble bath of delight that is part of my daily 2017 joyful routine.
- Weekend lunchtime drinking. Although this doesn’t qualify as “daily” it’s a routine that I plan to embrace and who knows, it could become daily (although I’m not sure that’s such a good idea). New Year’s weekend I had a mimosa at lunch with my husband and kids. I never do that but that’s about to change. Having a drink at lunch was cozy and fun. To think all these years I never imbibed before 5 pm — too worried about getting sleepy in the middle of the day. Nope, turns out it gave me a kick and it’s on my 2017 indulgence to do list.
- Nonstop Exercise. I was not put on this earth to sit. In fact quite the opposite. I love most sports that involve movement and especially those sports that involve all day movement; mountain climbing, skiing, golfing, biking and long distance walking and running and dancing. Physical movement provides a palpable serotonin drip into my veins and that explains the joy factor. So, I don’t plan to cut back on playtime in 2017.
- The perfect mini-vacation: napping. Who has time to nap? I do! I discovered the afternoon nap a few years ago and it is the most indulgent dip into nirvana I have ever experienced. It’s like a small snack of joy. Often time it starts with meditation to re-energize in the afternoon — usually at 4 pm. I can count on a 20 minute nap to bring me daily joy.
- Does romance give you joy? I was feeling a little prudish about adding this to my 2017 indulgence list (just in case my kids read this) but how could I not? Maybe I’m sounding like the guy here, but I’m good with whenever and always. Trust me at middle age there’s no chance I’m going to sex addicts anonymous but when my husband says, “date night” he can count on getting to YES!
I’m sure there’s more daily indulgences that I could be coerced into embracing in 2017 and am open to suggestions. The truth is, the happier we are, the more joy we can bring to the world.
Hoping you give yourself permission to indulge in what brings you joy in 2017.