You know the feeling: you’re in the middle of a routine activity when you stop and smile. You’ve just realised that, despite all the stress and complications in your life, at this very moment in time; you’re happy and content.
I have these moments often. Little affirmations of my reason for being. I call them my simple pleasures. Recently I started thinking about them and have compiled a list of a few of them (I love lists, surely you’ve noticed by now.)
I don’t have a fast car and in Joburg traffic I don’t often get the opportunity to but there’s something so thrilling about driving at (or slightly over) the speed limit with no obstructions and no interruptions. All my worries are pushed aside and I concentrate fully on the sensations of the road and achieving the perfect synergy of gears and acceleration that allow my little car to rocket past lumbering Mercs with 3 litre engines. My passengers seldom feel the same way. I have a bit of a reputation for pushing the envelope but I have no intention of slowing down.
Wearing a new item of clothing for the first time
Whether it is expensive or cheap, a new jacket or just a new pair of earrings, every time I wear a new item of clothing for the first time I feel sexy and successful. It’s not the same when I wear it the second time, it may still be new but it loses some of its magic. This could be the reason I prefer to buy 5 Mr. Price shirts to one ‘designer’ shirt. I get the thrill 5 times over. It’s the same with putting on new makeup; it’s guaranteed to put me in a great mood.
Cuddling on the couch
Whether it is with my 2 cats, my boyfriend or both, vegging on my couch with a good book on a Sunday afternoon is what makes slaving away for 5 days a week worth it. Nothing else comes close to the feeling of comfort and tranquility I get when the couch, a blanket and I become one.
Enjoying a good glass of wine.
A little known fact about me is that I studied wine for 2 years. Despite only having been to the Cape Wine lands twice in my life (and never having been to any other wine lands) I know, in theory, how to make wine. Yes, I am one of those poncy people who smell “cassis, plums & leather” when I nose a good Cabernet. I am also one of those people who will give you a good talking to if you call crap like JC le Roux le Domaine ‘Champagne’. It is only champagne if it comes from Champagne in France, OK? But despite my wine snobbery, (or maybe because of it?), there are few simple pleasures which equal the feeling I get when having a glass of really good wine. It doesn’t have to be expensive or well-known, just well made and drunk in the right company. Coupled with good, honest food, a great wine is a sensory experience I live for.
Wine, driving, new clothes & the couch are great, but there is nothing which lifts my mood higher and faster than playing the fool. Why do we have to grow up? There are times in our lives when playing practical jokes, speaking in a funny voice or acting like a dork with our friends brings back youth faster than any cream, pill or surgery can ever do. The pinnacle of my silliness is best enjoyed when at my friend Tanya’s house. We always ending up laughing until tears stream down our faces, doing innocent things like playing 30 Seconds or Guitar Hero and being complete chops without fear of ridicule.
This little list has made me realise something quite profound (for me): It may be the big things in our lives that make us happy, but it’s the little things that keep us happy.
What are your simple pleasures?