Coach’s Challenge for 7/22/12 “Simple Pleasures”

Good day, team.

I must admit, I am a nester. I enjoy creating a snug home, a retreat. I’m lucky that I have two nests — one in the country and one in the city — and I enjoy both of them for very different reasons. They each provide me with simple pleasures, which is the theme of this week’s challenge.

This morning, as I was hanging laundry out in the back yard, I realized how much pleasure I find in this activity. I enjoy hanging the clothes just right, so they get maximum sun and breeze. Once dry, I like taking the clothes down, folding them and putting them away. And I love the fresh smell and feel of the sheets as I make the bed. There is nothing more pleasurable than getting into a bed with freshly cleaned sheets that have dried on a clothes line. It is one of my favorite simple pleasures.

I also enjoy cooking. The process of planning a meal, shopping for the ingredients, and creating something healthy, nourishing and good-tasting is another one of my favorite simple pleasures. It’s a daily ritual that makes me happy — and my husband appreciates it, too! This morning, I’m making zucchini bread, a wonderful bi-product of our abundant zucchini crop this year.

Each evening, when we get home from work, my husband and I sit for a while with a glass of wine or other drink and review the day’s events. It’s a simple thing, just a daily check in to talk about work, our family and friends. In the winter, we sit in the living room by the fireplace. In the spring and summer, we sit out on the porch or patio. It’s a tradition that gives us a chance to connect and share simple moments of partnership and support.

I used to have a cat. I enjoyed how he would jump up onto my lap when I was reading and make a few circles to the right and then to the left to find the best spot for a nap. Once he’d found it, he would nestle in, knead me a few times with his paws and settle into a deep sleep. It was a simple pleasure that I miss — that warm, soft feline purring softly on my lap.

Yesterday, in a coaching session, my client and I spoke about the pleasure that comes from staring into space. We each acknowledged what a privilege it is to have the time to just sit and stare in silence. No texting, no talking, no thinking — just sitting and looking at whatever is in front of us. It’s a simple pleasure that soothes me in a way nothing else does.

As I write this, a fresh summer breeze wafts through the screen door and passes over my forehead. The chime outside makes a small tinkling sound. The delicious smell of zucchini bread cooking fills the room. I’m grateful to be here right now, experiencing these simple pleasures.

There is a direct connection between simple pleasures and being grateful. Each time I experience these simple things, I realize that I have more than I need to be happy. My grandfather used to say, “I have a good day when I remember to take pleasure in simple things.”

This week, take time to enjoy life’s simple pleasures. Perhaps it’s that first sip of refreshing, cold white wine or lemonade on a hot summer evening. Maybe you’re watching your children run through the sprinkler on your front lawn. You may find yourself sitting with a colleague having a simple exchange about the weekend’s activities. I often see my neighbor out walking her collie and love witnessing the enjoyment she experiences each time she reaches down to give him an affectionate pat on the head. Whatever it is, revel in these moments that give you pleasure in their simplicity.

As the writer Jerome K. Jerome expressed, “Let your boat of life be light, packed with only what you need — a homely home and simple pleasures, one or two friends, worth the name, someone to love and someone to love you, a cat, a dog, and a pipe or two, enough to eat and enough to wear, and a little more than enough to drink; for thirst is a dangerous thing.”

Have a good week!

Kathleen

Kathleen Doyle-White

(503) 296-9249

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