not so guilty pleasures…

While I really dislike bounding up out of bed when my alarm twinkles each morning, I cannot miss that quiet time of peace, seemingly made just for me. The Professor leaves at an obscene hour, so by the time I get up, the house is quiet and dark again. Flicking on my bedside lamp, I crawl out of my warm cocoon, and the cold air swirls around my ankles, surprising me each and every morning with it’s grasp. By this time, I am usually humming as I pick out clothes to wear, or more often than not, simply grab a pair of sweats and crawl into them sleepily. Once downstairs, I open the blinds, turn on a few lights, get a cup of yogurt and refill my water bottle. Sitting down at the dining room table to check email and blog, I have the perfect vantage point for the forthcoming sunrise. Darkness fades and color slowly seeps thru the trees, closer to me each minute. I glance out there often, not wanting to miss the moment when I can see everything in defined lines. I get a little thrill every morning at the sight of, well, whatever happens to be in the woods at the time. =) Birds, sunshine, snow… it does not matter, I feel that jolt of pure joy at the possibility and beauty of the coming day. Everything is new, anything can happen. Ever wanted a do-over ? Try getting up early and watching the day blossom before you, it really is the stuff of magic.

I will be the first one to tell you that my life is small right now. I have had seasons of insanity, world travel, had my own business, performed triage and disaster relief in Central America. Now I am in my house; growing with my foxling, teaching her and working out my life’s desires. I miss the days of utter abandon sometimes, but feel a sense of peace and rightness about what we are doing now. Knowing that when she is in college, I have yet another chance to reinvent myself and pursue my dreams is a balm to me on the days when I miss the path I used to walk.

I am a big believer in being happy, no matter where you are or what game you are playing. I believe in simple pleasures, those little things that make you smile and realize life is fascinating, even while doing those mundane tasks that befall the best of us. I love with all my heart flying first class across the Atlantic, landing at Heathrow and being bombarded by the city as I explore until my feet fall off. But I also adore the surprise and thoughtfulness of someone bringing me home a cappuccino… Different levels of joy, but happiness and contentedness all the same. I take my pleasures where I can find them, and by being open to all levels and types of happiness opens worlds of possibilities that one might never knew existed.

So, we have established that I am a morning person. What other small pleasures do I take delight in ? This is not a list of dreamy, huge adventures, but simply those things that make me smile on a regular basis. After all, woman cannot subsist on chocolate alone. =)

1.  A HOT BATH… nothing soothes me quite like being submerged in hot, scented water and allowing my mind to float. I can be in the foulest of moods, yet after a 15 minute soak, my perspective is right back where I like it. Mmm… I do love baths ! =)

2.  CURLING UP ON THE COUCH IN HUBBY’S BATHROBE WITH A GOOD BOOK… Nothing makes me feel small and safe like wrapping myself in his heavy, lined robe and bundling on the couch with a book for the long haul. This is an especially nice treat after a hot bath… =) I sometimes sit for hours during the long, cold winters, me at one end of the couch and my foxling at the other, murmuring to herself. Blankets piled around us and snow falling outside the window, there is no nicer way to spend a day off.

3.  LIFTING LIGHT WEIGHTS WHILE LISTENING TO MOTLEY CRUE… Yes, you read that right, cannot believe I spilled the beans. Some mornings, my foxling will come downstairs after brushing her teeth to find me rocking out with a pair of small weights. The music motivates me, and while it may not be a long workout, I am fitting strength training into my days. 10 minutes and I feel like a new person, strong and happy.  This is also boosting my metabolism, which will help my with my weight struggle. Best of both worlds !

4.  WATCHING SIX FEET UNDER… When I am feeling green or discontent, this is the big gun I pull out. A handful of pretzels, a cup of decaf and several episodes of this particular brand of insanity always restores my head to it’s upright position. I do not know what it is that makes me connect with the bizarre characters and their horrendous lives, but I do. Perhaps it helps put my own struggles into perspective, who knows ? The story line is wretched, painful to watch at times, and over the top does not begin to describe the dysfunction. But the actors are perfect together, their interplay fascinating. Be warned, it will ruin all other telly for you, there is nothing else even remotely like this.

5.  MEDITATION… This one is obvious, but I wanted to include it anyway. Some people have told me that they do not meditate because there is too much pressure to do it for a certain amount of time, or they feel they “should” make time every day for their practice. There is that most insidious word again, “should”… I hate that word. I do not make time every day; sometimes life is too full or hard, or I plainly do not want to sit quietly with my thoughts. But I do take it very seriously, this time of introspection, when I can examine my feelings, acknowledge them, and watch them flow out of me. It is thru meditation that I am able to let go of preconceived notions, of guilt and offense and understand what is really driving my emotional response to any given situation. I will tell you right now, the answer is almost always expectation. Mine, his, yours, hers, moms, dads, sisters, friends, in-laws, strangers at the market… everyone has expectations of who you should be, and how you should do it. I am learning to let go of all expectations and be the person I wish to be; no explanations or apologies required or given.

6.  READING ON MY iPAD IN BED AT NIGHT… No matter what my days bring, there is something I can count on every single night. I simply must read to shut my mind off at night. “Monkey mind” does not begin to describe the circle my thoughts chase themselves around in, so I needed to find a way to flip the switch. I use my iPad to read books in bed, late at night. With the lights off and the reader turned down to a soft glow, I wedge it against a pillow, snuggle deeply beneath my luxurious duvet and curl into myself. I never get very far, always drowse and do not stay up very long, but it is such a restorative way to end my days. I save easier books for bedtime; as deep as my love affair with Melville may be, I need something lighter to allow my mind to wander over. I smile, remembering good bits of the day while the words swim before my eyes. Eventually, I give up the good fight, and snap the cover shut, put it on The Professor’s side of the bed, and am asleep before I realize it.

In what ways do you reward yourself, and how are they working out for you ? We all need some happy, little pleasures to soothe our beings. Have a lovely day !


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. CB
    Dec 04, 2013 @ 10:11:37

    Motley Crue. You never fail to surprise me. 🙂


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