Our 10 most popular recipes for the month delivered right to your inbox!
I was kind of stricken by yesterday's "Simple Pleasures" thread. The originator of the thread spoke of hanging towels out to line-dry. She was responded to by a poster who, uncharacteristically given her normal upbeat attitude (sarcasm font activated), derided what made the OP happy as nothing but a chore that would make her tired. She then went on to describe what to her was a "simple pleasure."
Relaxing,,,,,, a cool drink...and sitting watching nature in a cool shady area high on a moutain top where a cool breeze is blowing, and you can see nature below you looking like miniature size versions of everything. Because you are so high up everything below you looks so small. You can sit for hours on end and enjoy nature. Butterflies floating in the air to and fro, landing some place and showing their painted beauty God above painted on their delicate wings. Clouds so near you that it's like wisps of smoke because you are so high up. Cars and tractors like tiny ants below you in the view you can see miles below. All the farmers crops, little towns and building, and miles of forest are like painted panoramic textures in different areas below you. Trees singing their songs as they russel in the cool wind as the leaves dance against each other. If you are ever so still you will hear the songs of the birds carrying their tunes as they fly through the air or sit in the trees. The smell of the flowers that are blossoming on the mountain tops, making a sweet aroma filling the area with a perfume only nature itself can provide from the blossoms. AHH! Yes!! This is relaxing!! just to "enjoy nature"!
Now, I don't know about anyone else, but this scenario seems amazingly complex for a "simple pleasure." It presupposes far too much. And it depends entirely on location, as if happiness was a place.
At first I thought, how very arrogant to put down the thing that gave someone else a momentary smile as nothing more than a "chore."
But I got to thinking how very sad it is that this person's definition of "simple pleasure" involves nothing to do with the normal activities of day-to-day life. Of course, maybe that is the lifestyle she leads, nothing to do but drink and look down at the people actually doing the work for hours on end. And I'm sure there are many of us who dream of such a life but are constrained to live within our circumstances--such opportunities as those described being so few and far between that they can hardly be defined as "simple" pleasures. For those of us who actually can experience the idyllic, well-produced scenario this poster describes, it generally takes weeks or even months of planning. I'm sorry, but that is not "simple" pleasure.
To me a simple pleasure is stepping out of the shower and placing that line-dried towel to my face and breathing in the fresh scent that can only come from line-dried towels, reminding me that, while it may indeed have been a chore, it was worth every minute.
It is the dull ache across your shoulders at 8:00pm that is slightly uncomfortable, but for the most part serves as a pleasant reminder that you put in a good, honest day's work today.
It is waking up to a clean kitchen and a fresh-brewed pot of coffee because you remembered to set the timer on the coffee maker.
It is the smile on your husband's face when you try a new recipe you're unsure of and he actually likes it.
It is the soft belly of a cat begging to be rubbed.
It is the sheer delight on the face of your grandchild as she plays with your 40+ year-old toys and thinks they're amazing, and that you are the coolest person in the world for having them.
It is watching a robin pull an earthworm from your front yard and the satisfaction of knowing that 15 years ago, there were no earthworms in that yard. Your hard work has paid off not only for yourself but for the creatures around you as well.
It is playing frisbee with your dog at the end of the day, even though you're exhausted, knowing that for the next precious half hour you are making the happiest dog in the world.
It is that moment when the world seems to be falling down around you, and suddenly "She Works Hard For The Money" comes on the radio and inspires you to continue when you feel like you want to quit.
It's a hummingbird tenaciously checking you out while you're weeding the roses.
It's the card you drop in the mail to an old friend for no other reason than you're thinking of him.
It's finding a nest of hummingbirds right over the front walk.
It's the amazingly clear image you have of the back yard through windows you just washed.
It's not about relaxing. Too many of us don't find the time for just relaxing. It's about finding the things that make you happy as you go about the mundane tasks, those horrible chores that most of us have to do on a daily basis. It's about those moments that remind us of the rewards of our hard work, those things that make us smile in the face of adversity that make us want to continue on, that remind us that our actions affect others, that remind us that our hard work is not in vain. These are simple pleasures. They are not dependent on living on Mt. Olympus kissing clouds and watching others do the work. They are dependent upon our attitudes and our love of life.
I can't imagine my happiness being dependent on a place.
For me happiness, pleasure, is not about where I park my ass at the end of the day, it is where I park my mind.
Back in those days folks cooked their food, not built a shrine to it.
"If life gives you a lemon, make lemonade. However — if life gives you a pickle, you might as well give up, because pickle-ade is disgusting." — Clifton J. Gray.
Thank you CIK for your response!!! I read daily but rarely post so felt hesitant to respond to that post but I so totally agree with each and every word you said. You really nailed it!!!
Thank you, Sherleen. I know what she was stating. And you have missed my point.
I second that! Well said CIK!
As usual Sherleen, you've missed the point.
Very well said, CIK. That was my simple pleasure yesterday, hanging sheets and towels out on the line to dry. I love the smell of fresh line dried sheets on my bed, and using the sweet smelling towels that have been line dried. To some it may be work, but the reward is worth it.
Having a cool drink on a mountaintop is as simple as taking a walk with a water bottle, for me, because I chose to live on a mountaintop, and made the necessary sacrifices to do so. Whereas watching my grandchildren would be an impossible pleasure, since I don't have any.Enjoying your earthworms as proof of your 15 years' hard work on the garden? Well, I'm sure everyone finds it simple to buy a home and live in one spot for 15 years. Easy as pie. A child could do it.No? So your simple pleasure also are not so simple, except that you have worked hard to make them seem simple, in the context of your life.And yes, AFTER A HARD DAY'S WORK, I do enjoy sitting and doing next to nothing. Relaxing. I find it pleasurable. That is a simple fact. If you don't, that's you, not me. Not Enjoynature. People differ.
A lot of this is folk memories and cultural hangovers.
Indeed, me too, not really, perhaps, and I suppose. I still maintain that making happiness and pleasure dependent upon complex situations and locations is terribly sad.
I agree CIK, joy in the little things is simple pleasure..
Perhaps you have something against the poster that is clouding your perception of what she actually did or did not imply. I reread your post, and one of the frist things you mentioned is that you implied sarcasm when talking about her usually upbeat posts so perhaps a bias there? Of her posts that I have read, she seems to work hard at gardening and canning. Not easy chores at all. Of most gardeners I know, there hard work usually extends to their pets, their homes and cooking too. I even went to the thread you spoke of to read her comments in context and still don't see that she doesn't work hard or deserve a break to "enjoy nature" from a hill top. Just because she didn't enumerate every detail of the drudgery of everyday life does not mean she doesn't appreciate it or deserve a well earned break somewhere in that day.
I like fresh towels off the line, did it all my life growing up but will not go back to it. I make my own eco friendly detergent though, so am hoping that evens things out a bit.
Perhaps you have something against the poster that is clouding your perception
Perhaps you have something against the poster that is clouding your perception
Hmmm, the same could be said about YOU.
It must be hard to hold onto your christian faith and be so pious and judgemental. WWJD? I bet he'd SOB.
cast_iron_kingI still maintain that making happiness and pleasure dependent upon complex situations and locations is terribly sad.
© Reiman Media Group, LLC., 2013