View From The Glen

Friday, February 11, 2011

Guest Post: Simple Pleasures

Today I am welcoming a guest blogger as part of the Won't You Be My Neighbour series started by The Never True Tales. The idea is to visit other blogs and get to know some of the talented people out there. I will be posting over at Coffee and Commutes and hope to see you there.

In the meantime, I am thrilled that my first blog guest is my friend, Leanne from My Window On The Journey. Leanne and I met in university and though we have never lived in the same province since then, she has remained a close friend. She has always been able to inspire me and I'm thrilled to have her here today.

Simple Pleasures
The sound of a quiet car after the kids all hop out of it at school. My favourite chair and a good book. The warmth of the fireplace on a cold winter night. The smell of hot cocoa before the first sip. A leisurely breakfast out with a friend. Decorating a birthday cake. A blank page waiting to be filled. Noisy chatter filling the house when the kids get home from school. Waking up wrapped in my hubby’s arms. The light in my children’s eyes when they have something exciting to share with me. Cheesecake. Kissing my kids’ warm cheeks after they are fast asleep. Family game night. Romantic movies. Bubble baths.

Simple pleasures.

Life is not easy. In fact sometimes it is really hard. Last week I had a hard week. There wasn’t just one thing that turned my world upside down, but a bunch of things piled on top of each other to do a real number on my mindset. I became so focused on all those little and not-so-little things, that I found myself in a slump that I wasn’t sure how I would escape. But I did. I prayed a lot. I consciously tried to refocus my mind. I became aware of how profoundly my mindset can affect every part of me. And I realized that my mindset is my choice. I can allow negative thoughts to control every minute of my day, or I can take back control and reorient my mind.

I have so many blessings in my life, and counting blessings is truly a way to change a negative mindset. Sometimes, however, reciting to myself the list of obvious blessings in my life can feel a little bit stale. Yes, I know I have an awesome husband, but he drives me crazy sometimes! I know my kids are amazing, but sometimes they drain every ounce of strength I have! My house is beautiful and it’s in a great neighbourhood, but it isn’t my dream house! I have wonderful family and friends, even here in Ontario, but I miss the ones I left in New Brunswick! Sound a little bitter? That’s what happens when I fall into that state of mind.

When that happens, like last week, I find I need to really micromanage my mindset. I need to break things down to the very simplest things in my life that make me happy. When I focus on those things, my attitude starts to change. I realize that my life is full of a million wonderful things every single day! The list above contains fifteen simple pleasures, and I have experienced each one of them at some point in the last week. Six of them I have experienced already today! Not only does this realization create a positive outlook in my mind, but it fills my heart with profound gratitude.

So I think that’s the key, at least for me. I would encourage you to try it. If you are struggling with a negative mindset, if you are feeling overwhelmed by worry or responsibility or dissatisfaction, make a list! What are your simple pleasures? Simple things that don’t cost money, or not much anyway. Simple daily pleasures that surround you even though you may not always notice. Once you see how many there are in your life, you can’t help but be positive and, even more importantly, grateful.

Cooking something new for my family. Stormy days when I don’t have to go anywhere. Hugs. A family bike ride. Walks on the beach. A visit with an old friend. The first flowers of spring. A good report card. A baby’s smile. Autumn leaves. Book club. French vanilla cappuccino. Reading to my kids. Writing a guest post for a friend’s blog…

Simple pleasures.


Julie said...

The sign at McPhee's Bakery reading 'Hot Cross Buns'.
Doesn't it make you think of bunny rabbits and daffodils? Winter - enough already!!! I can't wait for a day with Spring in the Air.

Amy @ Never-True Tales said...

Wonderful reminder to embrace the simple pleasures. And I love making lists, so the two will go hand-in-hand! So glad to be introduced to you today through Won't You Be My Neighbor!

Justine said...

Wow - I LOVE this idea of micromanaging your mindset and turning it to focus on the simple pleasures to remind us that we're still surrounded by so much greatness and beauty despite the every day things that wear us down. Great to meet a new neighbor today, thanks to Amy and her series. And even better the fact that I'm going to take this lesson I learned here and apply it for myself too, so thank you!

Laura said...

Great advice...something I need to try in my life. Lovely post. :)

Chris said...

Six you have already experienced today? I trust that is not six pieces of cheesecake...!