Tag Archives: joy in small things

Simple Pleasures

 

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“The real things haven’t changed, it is still best to be truthful and honest, to make the most of what you have, be happy with simple pleasures, and have courage when things go wrong”

Think simple pleasures. I have discovered they save me every time.  Simple pleasures of your own making.  Simple pleasures that you make me feel good.  Simple pleasures that comfort you.  Simple pleasures that inspire you. Are you thinking you can’t think of any?  Think again.  The list is endless, finding your simple pleasures is a key to your happiness.  Simple little activities that you string together like rare beads, creating a strand of precious baubles that represent all your simple pleasures.  Grow to rely on your simple pleasures. Keep them close, use them regularly, they are designed to delight and balance you.  Here are a few of my favorite simple pleasures I’d like to share with you.  I would love to hear about your simple pleasures or what has come to mind, future simple pleasures….

Good Tea – Do you like tea?  Yes, good. Let’s make ourselves some good tea. You can make a cup of tea with a tea bag right in the cup, but making a pot of tea is a pleasure.  A simple pleasure, one of mine.  Buy a teapot, you will never regret it.  I like my hot drinks in a mug.  Many of my tea drinking friends love their tea cups.  Perhaps you already have one you would like to use, if not, and this is how you would like to sip your tea, buy one.  I see awesome tea cups for sale at thrift shops, flea markets and yard sales. Pick one up.  Fill your kettle up with water and set it to boil.  Fill your teapot up with hot tap water.  This allows your tea to stay hotter longer in your tea-pot. There are so many varieties of tea to choose from.  Check out the teas in stores you frequent.  Do some research on-line to discover tea you like you would like to try.  There are many brews that are good for you.  There are medicinal teas to uplift, cure and care for you.  I occasionally select a tea because I am attracted to the scent. Have fun and experiment.  There are so many choices.  Pour out the tap water out of your teapot and add your bags or loose tea.  Some pots have strainers that sit at the top, where the loose tea sits, and is lifted out prior to pouring.  Loose tea placed in a pot will need to be strained while pouring, or you may choose to use a tea ball which works like a tea bag.  Tea bags are a good option for quick and easy tea making.  I enjoy the ritual of the loose tea.  There are caffeinated and decaffeinated tea.  Please be aware of this. There is a wonderful world of herbal teas available.  There are teas to soothe, teas to aid sleep, and teas to settle your stomach.  Look to these to cure what ails you.  Pour your boiling water into your teapot and let stand to brew. If there is any boiling water left pour it into your tea-cup or mug to warm it.  Many teas are delicious just as they are. You may want to “garnish” your tea. You may sweeten it with different sugars, brown rice syrup or honey. You can brighten the flavor with a slice of lemon. Use a cinnamon stick to stir your tea and add flavor, or toss in a few cloves, if you care for that flavor.  Empty the hot water from your vessel, pour yourself a cup and garnish your tea as desired. Sip your tea as it slowly cools, have a second cup or pour it up and drink it later, room temperature or iced.  Experiment and enjoy this ritual, it is a simple pleasure, certain to be enjoyed.

Letter Writing – I get snail mail, letters and cards. The reason I get snail mail is because I send snail mail.  I enjoy it, always have, always will.  This may or may not appeal to you.  If it does, give it a try. It is never to late to start a correspondence.  Letter writing for me has been a valuable experience. I text, I email and I love technology. I love a hand written letter too.  I love when I open my box and see that personal piece of snail mail sitting there. I anticipate the moment I will open it.  I like looking at the envelope, my address, the return address, the stamp, and the stamp cancellation. I love opening up the envelope, but I never rush that.  I don’t tear it open at the post office or read it in the car.  I want to open it at home, perhaps with a cup of tea. I open it slowly, like a gift. I read it carefully, I savor and treasure the words.  I hold a piece of time in my hand from a dear friend. I sit quietly thinking about my reply.  What stationary or card I will use,  I will look in my letter writing box.  It is a magical box filled with paper, stationary, cards, stickers, a wax sealer, and things like gold stars I occasionally place inside that tumble out as opened.  I am always am on the hunt for items for my letter writing box. The simple pleasure of writing something from my heart to someone I care deeply about Is a great joy to me. I recommend this.  Delightful and virtually free, the cost of a first class stamp. It is an investment in your well-being.  The simple pleasure of letter writing is so much more, it is making connections with people who are special to us. It just doesn’t get better that.

Study – Is there something you have always wanted to learn, or a skill you wish to master?  We live in an Information Age – most things are right at our, as I like to say, our google finger.  I say go for it, for example, learning a second language, that seems to be on many bucket lists. It is never to late to learn something you have always wanted to learn, there is satisfaction in it.  American History – ride a skateboard – knit a sweater – build a boat – learn how to cook, you see the possibilities are endless. Honestly it won’t take but a moment to come up with something, it lives right beneath your skin, you have wanted to do it forever.  You can take it, run with it and before you know it will be your passion.  Next week you could be setting up that train set you always wanted. Direction and resources are at our finger tips.  Yeah, go for it.  Surprise yourself and find out that you are a natural at something. There is a reason you are attracted to studying and learning, it is pleasurable. Imagine next Christmas you are playing those carols you always wanted to play on the piano.  Do you see the joy in this?  Studying will make your heart smile, learning something will lift your spirits, and mastering something will fill you with joy.  My incredible mother always said, “if you can read, you can do anything…”. Think about that, not to mention you and I have YouTube.  Your dedication to a focus, studying is right in your pad or phone, that we all walk around with clenched in our hands.  Yes, we walk around with the world in the palm of our hands. Take pleasure in all that information.  I think if you were to check your bookcase you would find more than one book on something you are interested in, meant to get to, perhaps have gone unread. Take these books out, put them where you will look at them, read them and see if this is so thing you wish to dive into. Get a notebook and begin to study, it will expand the horizon and you may find great pleasure in it.  Learning, studying and exploring these are sure simple pleasures for me.

Yoga Stretch – I have been doing a simple yoga stretch twice a day for about three years.  Once I learned it, it takes about 10-15 minutes tops.  I do it in the morning and in the evening.  I learned this yoga flow as part of a mindfulness training.  I was told it would balance my chi and that my energy would travel along my meridians clearly and cleanly. It is designed to energize you. I began to do it.  It is very easy to do, not threatening at all. Most everyone can do it, the entire flow happens while standing. There is no yoga bendy bunny required. It is simple and straightforward.  I had done it for five days and I remained skeptical.  It was designed to energize me, I hadn’t felt a thing but I did my morning flow the next day.  An hour or so later I did feel something, my body felt electric, with a pulsing in my torso and upper legs. It felt fantastic.  I have been doing it ever since.  I so it soon after I wake up and again as I move toward bedtime. I have shared this with everyone who is interested, the feedback is very positive.  This is a simple pleasure of mine, simple self-care, an honor to do, with great benefits.

Foot Care – Ah yes, the feet. My experiences this year have changed my foot care which previously had been a couple of pedicures a month and moisturizer.  I have been unable to have pedicures as I have surgical edema and I had a bout of cellulitis.  I am sure the salon I go to is clean, I have been going there for 16 years with no problems. I just can’t risk an infection at this time.  I have had to take care of my feet and I have gotten pretty good at it, they feel great.  Investing in a simple foot bath is a wonderful thing.  Mine has plenty of room for my feet, the bottom surface is covered with small ‘nobs’ for stimulation and an area to place your feet for heat.  There is also a vibrate setting which I enjoy. I begin my foot therapy by rolling my feet on a wooden foot roller which has raised ridges.  We store toxins in our feet and they become crystallized there. The foot roller breaks these up, you can feel and ‘hear’ this as you roll.  Foot rolling stimulates your Venus return – your blood returning to your heart and carrying those toxins to be cleansed. It is important to stimulate your Venus return and getting your blood back up to your heart.  I use warm-hot water the foot bath with Epsom salts and lavender oil.  It is very calming and soothing.  Once the water cools I dry my feet.  I am not polishing my toenails as I am perfectly awful at it.  I keep my toenails clean and cut fairly short.  I do a long thorough foot massage with plenty of moisturizer. I massage my feet and my calves in the direction of my heart, more circulation stimulation. Tending your feet is very relaxing, it will keep them soft and supple. Dry and cracked feet are unattractive but unhealthy as well. Your feet work very hard for you, they hold you up and get you around, show them some love and gratitude by keeping them well.  They will continue to work well.  Happy feet, happy person.  Your footwear will feel better too.  It is a great routine, twice a week works for me.  This is a simple pleasure, really worth the time investment. I am looking forward to having some color on my tootsies again, but my foot care routine will remain.

What are your simple pleasures.  Thinking on this will lift you up, and as you begin to incorporate these pleasures into your everyday routine you will certainly see and feel the benefits of your simple pleasures.

“Simple pleasures – all the pleasures I knew as a child” Willie Stargill

Always dazzle, Karen

 

Hey, I had a GOOD Day

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If you don’t think every day is a good day, just try missing one.
Cavett Robert

I have said many times over the past few months, “this isn’t what I thought I’d be doing right now”. Well I am saying that again now. I planned and wrote a different post. But wait, today was a very good day. I feel compelled to share it. It seemed like any other day of recent memory. I awoke at 4:30 AM, yes I know very early, but it is when I begin my day. You can say, I am a morning person. More importantly it is something I can do and I am focused on what I can do these days, not what I can’t. I like to have breakfast with my sweet husband, John. It is a good way to start our day. I make him a hot breakfast each morning and I make his lunch. Making him breakfast is a lovely tradition in our house. Some of his friends (men) promised him when we were dating once we married that hot breakfast was history. Not at all to prove them wrong (well, maybe a little bit), I enjoy it. A healthy lunch he enjoys is also important.  I love seeing him off to work. After he left I rode my bike, I have worked up to 15 minutes twice a day. The bike is so good for my overall well-being and healing. I am exercising my muscles that can’t work themselves, and are atrophied due to the nerve damage. The does not require that I can lift my foot, which is a joy, because I can’t lift my foot. I have been so inactive with my precautions with my PT when I get off the bike and I have those little tingling sensations in my butt and legs, like I once experienced after a long walk, it feel so good and it lifts me up. I think the endorphins are good, and it is improving the quality of my appetite and sleep.

My physical therapist, Ellen came for a session She was here for me through my hip surgery four years ago, she has been with me through my two hip revisions this summer. She is fantastic. She is kind and patient. Her encouragement is priceless. We have become friendly and I am a bit sad that Thursday will be our last session. The good news, she believes I am ready. I really like seeing her, she has brightened many a day. I know how to do my PT and I will do it religiously.  I am honored to do the work that works toward my recovery. I made her some of my fabulous granola, a small parting gift. It is perfect, she loves cereal. We are certain to be in touch as we have a bond.

I had a couple of unexpected phone calls, from two of my favorite people. I found myself being very engaged, less flat and very much interested in our conversations. Was I feeling more like myself, I think I was. Both of my friends noticed. I noticed too.

The day continued. I did some work in my Etsy shop. I have a vintage jewelry shop. I had re-opened my shop on Labor Day, quite fitting I thought. It had been closed for three months as I was unable to work.  The shop re-opened to a flurry of activity and seven orders right from the smash. I was thrilled, and encouraged as well. Thing then went totally flat. I can happily report that I usually have orders each day, or one or two days between orders. The initial flurry died down and nine days went by with not a single order. Something was not right. I chalked it up to being closed and needing to get back up on the search engines. One day last week I went downstairs to do some laundry, I walk through my studio to get to the laundry room. I stopped in the studio and turned on the light. What I saw, for the first time, horrified me. My studio was lifeless, I had no custom work, my bench look lonely. It was dusty, I saw a few cobwebs, the chi was perfectly awful. It looked like a place where something wonderful had happened there and then for some reason it stopped. I wasn’t happening at all. This was a revelation, I set about making the necessary changes. Simple things like cleaning, I felt myself coming alive, invigorated about my work, my studio and my shop. I also realized that I had not been very engaging with my customers since reopening. I wasn’t in touch with other shop keeps I was friendly with. I wasn’t connecting on social media. I was flat, the shop was flat, but I knew how to change that. I have worked so hard. I learned so much building my business, I experienced success. Okay, we are on our way back! I wanted to contribute to the household, and I wanted my income stream back. That afternoon I engaged like I knew how. I was even a bit animated. I was still in here. That evening I had two sales and sales are increasing. Things are looking up and feels great. Keep doing the things you can, and for goodness sakes do them well.

I had some lunch, focusing on my protein intake. I am what I eat. I set about making that yummy granola and baked two loaves of pumpkin bread with craisins and toasted pecans. The house smelled wonderful. I put some music on. I love music, where had the music been? One loaf of pumpkin bread for my husbands lunch and a loaf for my friend I was getting together with tomorrow night.

Yes, I have plans out in the world with a dear friend. I will be driving, driving at night which I have not done since the spring….baby steps. Fantastic! I had a call from her, we firmed up our plan and gosh, it just felt great. I did another fifteen minutes on my precious bike, a ride to well-being. I worked on my planned post and thought I am having a good day. I must write about that. This may on the surface seem pretty mundane, my day, it was. But not to me. It had a sparkle to it. I was seeing and thinking about things just a little bit differently. Dare I say, feeling like myself. That my darlings is miles from mundane…..

So really, truly, no crosses count, hands down, one good day. I haven’t thought about a day being good in a very long while. Am I back on track? I pray it will grow and continue in that direction. I am sure the Prozac is helping, I know the iron supplements are, I am sleeping and most of all I remain hopeful, prayerful and grateful. This day added up to good and I say bring ’em on……..

Hoping this finds you in the best of spirits.

Always dazzle, Karen