Marc Bilodeau/ Self Help

Have you ever heard the expression “You need to stop and smell the roses“? I’ve heard it many times, and each time I dismiss it as a cliche. However, its real meaning is simply a reminder to slow down, enjoy life, and be in the present. As simple as it sounds, I found it difficult to grasp. After some thought, I narrowed my thinking and asked myself a question. What do I consider one of Life’s Simple Pleasures?

Life’s Simple Pleasures

What is Life’s Simple Pleasures? Everyone’s definition will vary. For me, it’s something simple that goes unnoticed and lies hidden while everyone is going about their day. Yet when discovered, it instills a feeling of pure joy. It makes the senses come alive and creates nothing but positive emotions and vivid imagery.

At first, I really struggled to figure out my list of Life’s Simple Pleasures. However, it turns out to be a great exercise in self-discovery. Some people may have pages of experiences and moments, others will have a few. Regardless, it’s not the amount that matters but the quality of the experience that makes them special.

A journal is an amazing tool. It provides insight from our own perspective whether we record thoughts about a particular day, write about a life experience, or keep a list of personal accomplishments.

A journal could be a notebook, a blog, a photo album, or an online service like Pinterest. There really isn’t any rules, which leaves a lot of room to personalize the experience with what works best.

My List

As more time passes, my list of Life’s Simple Pleasures grows. A wealth of information about myself emerges waiting for my future self to read and reflect. These moments draw me into the present, and the rest of the world temporarily melts away. When life feels like it’s on auto-pilot, I can take a minute and review the moments and experiences that help make my reality extraordinary.

Campfires

It’s the crackling sound of the fire, the smell of burning wood, and the flame’s warmth upon my face. The night surrounds the fire except for a faint glow on anything close by.

Freshly Cut Pineapple

The first bites of a fresh pineapple tastes so sweet and juicy. The senses of taste and smell come alive like awakening from a long winter slumber.

Honeycrisp Apples

The Honeycrisp rivals every other apple. The harvest in September produces particularly large and sweet ones. No matter what I’m doing, the first bite slows down the day and my focus shifts to enjoying each bite.

Long Summer Days and Warm Summer Nights

There is so much daylight from early morning to late evening, and the world is alive and green. At the end of the day, I’ll stare at the western horizon as the summer sun sets turning day to dusk, then dusk to night.

Mowing the Lawn

Breathing in and out, I push my lawnmower forward. Back and forth as patterns and shades of green form in the grass. With a job well done, I stand marveling at the entire lawn and breath in the scent of freshly cut grass.

Playing and Composing Music

Throughout history, thousands of songs were composed and performed. Countless artists playing music for others to enjoy. However, I prefer the solitude of my piano. A place where the music I play has never been heard by anyone. I play to the empty room where the only soul hearing it is mine.

Running

The first race of the year, breaking my personal record, the fresh air, and miles of endless roads. Every run is special in its own way. However, there is one very special moment that happens once a year.

There is a field in the back roads of Dover, NH. I run by it during an annual road race. It’s April and the snow may still be lingering, but the leaves are beginning to awaken. A mile or so into the race, a large grass field appears. As soon as I see it, the only things present are me, the green field, the scent of fresh grass, and the sound of the wind.

Sitting quietly and staring at the stars

With the silence of the night, the sound of a light breeze rustling the leaves, and the night sky above, I gaze at the heavens staring endlessly at the brilliance of the universe. Each night is unique, and there is always something new to enjoy.

Sleeping with a fan on

The white noise of a fan as it gently blows on my face lulls me to sleep. As I awake the following morning, the cool air keeps me snuggled in the warmth of the bed sheets for a few minutes longer before the day begins.

Taking long hot showers

The sensation of the water hitting my skin, the sound it makes while raining down on me, and the warmth from the top of my head to the tip of my toes. Time seems to stop until the hot water runs out and the water slowly cools.

That moment before falling asleep

That last thought as I’m falling asleep knowing I don’t have to wake up to my alarm. Waking up can be slower, and I can enjoy the morning at my own pace.

Thunderstorms at night

It’s well after sunset and late into the evening. A storm is approaching. The wind begins to stir, but the rain has yet to fall. In the distance there are rumbles of thunder as lightning fills the sky. The shapes of the clouds are visible, and sometimes during one brief flash night turns into day.

Touch

The feeling of skin on skin from that special someone. The gentle touches while slowly moving my hands up and down her back. Holding each other tightly, being silent, and listening to each other slowly breathe in and out.

Walking Outside at Night when it’s snowing

The snow is slowly falling, and the clouds are low. Although it’s nighttime, the snow reflects the artificial lights making it easy to see. There is no wind and no noise. The only sounds heard are my footsteps and the snow hitting the ground.

Your List

These are mere moments in time, but each time they happen it’s magic to me. I’m drawn into the present. My mind clears and I’m there experiencing nothing but that moment.

What’s your list of Life’s Simple Pleasures? If you don’t know, then it may be time to put one together and read it every now and then. Add, remove, and expand on each experience. Who knows, you may learn something about yourself and what helps make your life extraordinary.