As a kid I remember peeping through the window that overlooked our garden and I would sit there watching my Dad as he sat outside, with a cold beer in his hand, watching the sunset and listening to the bird sing. Sometimes I would be brave enough to venture out and join him, I once asked what he was doing and very silently he replied ‘Sometimes you’ve got to take the time to enjoy the simple pleasures of life.’
My Dad taught me from a young age that enjoying the little things can make a bigger difference than the big things. He taught me what it meant to be content with simplicity and that everyday can be a good day with just a little positivity.
I admire my father, who works hard almost 7 days a week to provide a good life for his family. Sometimes money can’t always stretch as far as he hopes and so that means cutting back on anything considered a luxury, he never complains and isn’t resentful. He can still have a good day as long as he can listen to the birds sing, or watch the mesmerizing view he has from his living room window.
I’ve been thinking a lot about simple pleasures in life and how those little things aren’t always so obvious.
I recently complained that I would have to put off buying my photo printer again for another month due to another cost taking priority. My partner tried to sympathize, but I was adamant that I was so badly wronged. Looking back on it now I realize how absolutely spoilt I was being. My partner could see how worked up I was getting so he suggested we just take a walk. A walk? A WALK?! I thought, but instead of arguing, I just mumbled under my breath and proceeded to follow him.
We went to visit the hills near or house. The day had been hot and the sun was setting so there was a sense of warmth still lingering without it being too stifling. We strolled along a path and chatted about our day, holding hands and admiring the view. I felt this sense of calm wash over me, and just like that, the stress that I was convinced would plague me until I got what I wanted was gone.
We reached our destination, a viewpoint with a beautiful view of London, and stood there in silence whilst we took everything in. No words were needed; we were enjoying each other’s company, the fresh air and the change of scene.
There’s something so calming about being at one with nature, enjoying this simple experience with someone you love, well it’s priceless, and no amount of photo printers could even equate.
The thing is it’s so easy to grind so hard on a daily basis, at work, in your personal and social life. Every aspect of your world can be so busy and hectic that it’s easy to forget to just take a few moments to breathe and relax. I commute for almost 4 hours every day and it wasn’t until recently that I realized I didn’t remember the last time I just sat down (stood up because there’s never any seats left during my long commute to and from work) and looked out of the train window to admire the view. When I did finally raise my eyes from my phone, I looked around me and saw most of my fellow commuters had their eyes glued to their devices or books, and those who didn’t were quietly snoozing away trying to catch some extra sleep before their hectic schedule could begin again.
I’m guilty of forgetting to be more appreciative of the little things. I grind so hard during the week that I spend my weekends sleeping, recuperating trying to recover for the next week. But I was and am doing that all the time so I’m really not getting to enjoy anything.
We weren’t put on this earth to live a meaningless existence, we shouldn’t live to work, and we should work to live.
Each and every one of us owe it to ourselves to take even just 5 minutes for ourselves, just to take a breather and remember exactly why we work so hard.
Life is a crazy rat race and we work too hard to live like drones following the same pattern.
We deserve to have a little happiness, a little joy, even if it’s just to enjoy watching the sunset.
So whether it’s listening to the birds sing, enjoying a meal with friends, playing in the ocean or getting an extra hour of sleep on your day off, please, go and find your simple pleasure, that little treat you can give yourself as a thank you for working so hard and the reminder that no matter how hard the day gets, you can and will get your reward.
Do something to make your parents proud today, your kids proud someday, and you proud everyday!
Peace and Love,