Because sometimes we get caught up in the big things in life, here are a few of my favorite simple little things.
Even though this may sound strange, especially to those who know me, I’m completely serious. There is nothing more satisfying than digging through the earth for errant growth and finding a big, fat root bulb. It means that weed is now history and you won’t see another one pop up there for a while. Plus, the time and effort spent killing things was not wasted.
Showering when you’ve really earned it.
For instance, after weeding. Most of the time, people just shower because it seems like the thing to do, but rarely does your average person desperately need a shower. There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing streams of water through dirt and exiting the shower feeling cleaner than you have ever felt. Because you were so dirty to begin with, you actually notice the difference.
I enjoy swimming even though I really suck at it since I’ve never been able to float, but I don’t have a pool or a lake or even a bird bath nearby. So, taking a bath is like a private tiny lake for one where skinny dipping is not only allowed, it’s encouraged. My favorite thing about taking a bath occurs when I first lie back in the tub. There are little air bubbles trapped underneath me. Over the course of a minute or two, gravity forces them upwards. Feeling the little tickling air bubbles slide along the ridge of my spine is one of the cheapest thrills you can get.
Really good books.
I read every day. There are some books that I just plow through. It seems I read them just for the sake of having something to read. There are still others that take me forever to finish, sometimes months, because they’re more like a chore than a pleasure. Then there are those that strike the perfect balance. The kind of books that are like a fine liquor with its own special glass. The smell wafts through your nasal passages as you take a little sip into your mouth and let it sit there before swallowing. And, once you do, you feel that warm, tingling sensation all the way down. Those are the books I like. Sometimes I enjoy them so much, I don’t want to finish them, because then they’ll be read.
Really fine liquor.
See the blog, Seeing Stars.
Waking up without an alarm clock.
Five days a week, I have three buzzers going off right next to my head, which I tend to ignore anyway. This is wrong. Humans were not meant to have buzzers. Humans were meant to wake up with the sun to go hunting or fishing or gathering and whatnot, but, for some reason, someone decided that eight hours was an appropriate length for a work day. Time was, a work day was eight hours including lunch. Nowadays, a work day is nine hours with lunch on your own time in the middle. Somewhere along the way, we went from 9-5 to 8-5 and nobody thought we’d notice. Well, I did and it sucks. So, when I can (usually twice a week), I give the finger to my alarm clocks and get up when I damn well feel like it.
I don’t mean the latest movie or situational comedy television show. I’m talking about the organically funny things that come out of conversations between friends. Jokes that are funny to you and maybe a few other people in the whole world. The kind of inside jokes that, even when you explain them to those who weren’t there, they’re never quite as funny. I enjoy going about the business of my day, and all of a sudden, thinking about one of these inside jokes and breaking into laughter all by myself; now that’s comedy.
There are little victories to be seen if you are paying attention, like these:
- Catching something you accidentally knocked over before it falls unceremoniously to the floor
- Not hitting that thing that appears from out of nowhere in the middle of the freeway
- Making it over the railroad tracks just in time to see the crossing arms come down behind you
- Getting to the bus stop/subway just in time to see the bus/train coming as if it was waiting down the line just for you to arrive
- Seeing the bug before it flies into your face and slapping it away Mr. Miyagi-style
- Finding a mate for every single sock in a load of laundry without exception
- Somehow getting to work exactly on time when you think you will be late
- Walking into an establishment with no line and watching a bunch of people have to wait behind you
- Finding money in the pocket of a jacket you haven’t worn since last whenever
Most people in the world will never win the Nobel Prize, fly to the moon or break a world record. Most people’s lives, including my own, are made up of a series of mundane routines, but even on the most run of the mill day, there are small pleasures to be found if you look hard enough. There are lots of simple pleasures, small victories and triumphs, just like the ones that I mentioned that happen to all of us on a daily basis. Pay attention to them. Revel in them. Raise your arms like Rocky and be victorious, even if the next moment is a disaster.