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Wet Noodle Posse | Blog

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Everyday pleasures

by Terry McLaughlin

I learned long ago to indulge myself in things I'd probably do anyway. Telling myself these small everyday habits are actually luxuries makes me appreciate them more, and I discover my day is filled with delights.

Is there anything as delicious as curling up in a warm bed with a good book? Setting my morning alarm a few minutes early or skipping a late-night activity lets me begin and end each day doing one of my favorite things: reading. Spoiling myself like that is bliss.

My favorite perfume isn't saved for special events--I often spritz a bit just for me. I steal time to fill my vases with fresh flowers, or I take a different route through town to catch a glimpse of sailboats on the bay. When I think of it, I treat myself to a five-minute concert, closing my eyes to let the orchestration of a favorite tune envelop me. I'm incredibly fortunate to have so much beauty available with relatively little trouble–and to be able to enjoy it.

There may be a few chores and annoyances associated with owning a dog, but when I return from an errand, I'm welcomed home with such adoration I can't help but feel special. And there's nothing as relaxing as pausing to rub soft, furry ears and share a quiet moment with a creature who thinks I'm the most wonderful human on the planet.

Stepping beneath the shower spray, or finishing a task, or stretching my arms above my head after a long stint in my desk chair feels absolutely fabulous. So does laughing with friends or letting chocolate melt in my mouth.

What daily experiences delight you? What ordinary things do you do to treat yourself?


At 3:40 AM, Blogger Dianna Love said...

Terry -
Great post on how to add joy to your life everyday. Curling up with a book anytime has always been a treat in my mind. I sometimes get up very early - like today - and enjoy starting my day by reading a little before I get going and I read at night to quiet my mind.

I don't do enough of taking a moment during the day for myself and will do that more now that you've got me thinking on it.

At 11:00 AM, Blogger Terry McLaughlin said...

Hi, Dianna--and congrats on your bestselling success :-)!

I started setting my alarm early the year I was a busy high school vice-principal with little time for recreational reading. Once I discovered that trick, I set the alarm earlier and earlier, sometimes giving myself an extra half hour to drift in a story before I had to climb out of bed. Ahhhh :-). It's a great way to start the day.

Many things that delight me don't take any time at all. Sunny day? Gorgeous! Rainy day? I love to watch the wind make the redwoods dance (and I don't have to worry about watering the garden). Pictures of family I see as I wander through my house, momentos that remind me of fun vacation times--if I pay attention, I notice I'm surrounded by things that can put a smile on my face.

At 12:45 PM, Blogger Mo H said...

One of my everyday pleasures is that first cup of coffee in the morning. Nothing like it! I've got to do the perfume thing. Why save it for a special occasion? Great idea!

At 1:17 PM, Blogger Ladyhawk said...

What great ideas, Terry! Thanks for the reminder to take note of those little, everyday things. Like many folks, I had beautiful china that I used for special occasions. I love pretty dishes. When I finally realized I'd probably never marry, I decided that I could afford to collect single place settings. Every meal is a special occasion. And if something breaks, it's time to shop for a new place setting. :-)
~Judy T

At 1:21 PM, Blogger Terry McLaughlin said...

Hi, Mo :-)! Ah, yes, that first cup of coffee. I'm not a hot coffee drinker (I wish I were--it would make life simpler at times), but I love iced mochas. In fact, I'm headed out the door in a few minutes to enjoy an everyday pleasure from my favorite drive-thru coffee place. Yummm :-).

At 1:28 PM, Blogger Terry McLaughlin said...

Hi, Judy :-)! Ooooh, I love your idea of collecting single place settings. What a fabulous way to make a meal special :-)!

I asked for a second set of everyday china for my Christmas present, and my sweet husband granted my wish. Now we can give our weekday dinners a little pizzazz, if we choose :-).

At 3:13 PM, Blogger Delle Jacobs said...

I like this idea, Terry. Lately my luxury has been in creating my story, and I really do see creativity as too much fun to be work (most of the time).

It's possible my real luxury of the day will be to put away the blown glass Christmas ornaments, and along with that, finish packing up the decorations for the trip back up to the attic.

After that, scour the house for a piece of chocolate. Surely there must be some lying around somewhere...

At 3:14 PM, Blogger Delle Jacobs said...

Ooh, I love that single place setting idea! I've had single tea cups and saucers, but gave them away to a friend who actually uses them for real tea parties.

At 4:46 PM, Blogger Terry McLaughlin said...

Hi, Delle--isn't it wonderful to have a job that gives you so much pleasure :-)?

My grandmother, mother, and mother-in-law had several single teacup & saucer sets, and I used to love choosing one for tea. When Judy mentioned her single place setting idea, that's what I remembered--the fun of choosing a pattern and that pampered feeling as I sipped my tea.

I'm looking forward to letting my granddaughter choose a cup & saucer when she's old enough for tea parties.

At 5:04 PM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

LOVED this post, Terry! Thanks for reminding me of all the little details in life that can make each day wonderful!

I haven't treated myself to fresh flowers in a long while. I think I'll do that. Love the smell of daylillies when I walk into my house. I do love the way my dog gets excited every time I enter a room. :) I take pictures nearly every week of the great view and sunset I have from my back door. Love those sunsets.

Thanks for sharing today! May 2009 be the best year ever!

At 8:19 PM, Blogger Louisa Cornell said...

Terry, thanks for the great post. I tend to enjoy those little things and then immediately forget them. Not good.

I have a regular canine and feline welcoming committee when I get home from work. As soon as I pull up the drive the early warning system (my nine outdoor rescued dogs) set up the call. "Mom's Home!" I hear them before I see them, but as I walk down the hill each one stands at the gate of their run for the treat and pat they KNOW is coming. Then when I get in the house the little yap yap dogs - two dachshunds and two chihuahuas go nuts. The cats, of course are interested in when I am going to fill the dishes - that's it.

I love to curl up with a good book and my dogs.

I love my first cup of tea in the morning standing on my back porch and listening to the world wake up.

I love to drive down the dirt road where I live and have to stop because my neighbor's ducks and their ducklings are crossing the road. Always makes me smile.

At 10:28 PM, Blogger Terry McLaughlin said...

Hi, Theresa :-)! Mmm, daylilies--one of my favorites! I've planted lots of them around here, and I know they're supposed to be nearly indestructible, but I haven't had much luck yet. I'm sure I'll try again and plant some more in different places ;-).

Sunsets--aren't they wonderful? I love ours, too, over the ocean. Happy sighs :-).

At 10:31 PM, Blogger Terry McLaughlin said...

Hi, Louisa :-)! Oh, I'm so glad you shared about your welcoming committee and your neighbor's ducks--you gave me a smile, too :-). And listening to the world wake up--what a wonderful image.

At 11:53 PM, Blogger Diane Gaston said...

Judy, I think the single place setting idea is inspired! What fun it would be to give a dinner party and have a different place setting for each guest!

I have part of my mother and aunt's teacup collection but I never use them. I did buy a set of Lenox mugs, plates, and teapot in the Butterfly Meadow pattern that I use for my Critique Group.

Judy, there is also something very special about a cat sitting on your lap and purring while you pet her.

Great blog, Terry!

At 11:57 PM, Blogger Diane Gaston said...

Oops, I meant the "cat" comment for Louisa aka O Doggie One!!!

At 1:03 AM, Blogger Terry McLaughlin said...

Thanks, Diane :-).

I agree, Judy's single place setting idea is terrific. And I love yours about a dinner party with individual settings.

When I was directing the annual local high school dinner theaters, members of the parents' group volunteered to host the tables. Each table was set with different china and centerpieces, and there was quite a bit of competition to outdo each other--they were all breathtaking, as you can imagine.


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