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Making Time for Simple Pleasures

Posted By: Randy GageNovember 16, 2009

The other day there was a beautiful rain shower here in Miami Beach.   And it got me thinking about simple pleasures.  Can anyone tell me anything cooler than sitting on your balcony, eating pizza, and drinking a Dr. Pepper while you watch a thunderstorm?  

I know I can’t.

Unless it is watching a kitten, fascinated with a string.  Or a puppy I once had named Starbuck.  I would throw a stick and he would fetch it, and simply be in heaven, dragging it along in his mouth as we walked home.  The stick was bigger than he was.  But he was as content with his teeth clamped around that as any animal I’ve seen.

A sunrise or sunset.  A bird swooping into the water to catch a fish.  The sound of waves crashing on the shore.  Or the bustle on a city at night.  A couple weeks ago there was a dolphin frolicking in the marina under my office window.  I stopped everything just to drink in the moment.  It was spiritual.

How many simple pleasures are around you all the time?  And are you taking time to appreciate them?

-RG

36 comments on “Making Time for Simple Pleasures”

  1. I know I love to drink in moments like that!

    I get that a lot driving up to my parents house through the mountains. I bet probably 50% of the time I get very caught up with the way the leaves sway in the wind with the sunlight gleaming down through the tree tops to make some amazing looking light-effects.

    Gorgeous stuff!

    Jeremy Reeves
    http://www.ReevesCopy.com

  2. Watching my puppy sleep is a simple pleasure. He's so adorable and so huge now compared to when we got him just a mere three months ago. That complete giving in to the world when he sleeps knowing he is protected by us. Listening to the ocean (which is hard to do in Dallas), but when I can get that vacation, that's where I am... is my most favorite pleasure.

  3. A great example of your blog post today post was written about in the Washington Post on April 8 2007.

    The article was called Pearls Before Breakfast and it was a social experiment on how beauty in life (aka the simple pleasures) is perceived when taken out of context.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/04/AR2007040401721.html

    "This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of an social experiment about perception, taste and priorities of people. The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?

    One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be:

    If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?"

  4. -RG,

    I read your post and stepped outside for a moment.

    I'm in Colorado, it snowed about a foot a day ago. My fist thought was "it's cold" then I looked around. It's a clear bright sunny morning the light playing off the snow mingled with the shadows is breathtaking.

    Yes there are moments to take in everyday, everywhere.

    I imagine that true enlightenment is that every moment is a simple pleasure.

    -djm

  5. A hot cup of coffee on a cold morning, the smell of poplar burning in the wood stove, the kiddo giving me a hug for no reason just cus she loves her momma, watching the fish preening when i come over to the tank,sliding my clean body into freshly laundered sheets with the knowledge that I have nowhere to go and nothing to do when I wake up in the morning. Those are just a few of my simple pleasures. And yes indeed I enjoy EVERY minute of them.

  6. Good moringing Randy,
    Ok, maybe rootbeer instead of Dr. Pepper! L.O.L.
    You are right though, how many magical, spiritual moments do we let go by us without notice? Douglas mentioned we got snow here in Colorado. Yes it's a pain in the butt for the morning commuters but if you just stop a take a look around, it looks like a Hallmark greeting card outside! You can't beat that!

    Anyway, here's to simple pleasures! May we all stop and and take notice today!

    Lucinda (The Opera Diva)

  7. I'm fortunate to live in the SF Bay Area which is a natural wonder and paradise. Every morning I go for a run along the Bay and take in the natural beauty daily. I've been living here most of my life and EVERY time I cross the Golden Gate Bridge I am stunned by the beauty I behold as I gaze to one side and see the Pacific Ocean and then to the other where I see the SF Bay, SF skyline and sailboats gently gliding beneath the bridge..

    So yes, I take in the beauty and the simple things all the time and am so grateful for what the Universe provides..

  8. Hi Randy;

    I'll speak for myself on this subject, and say that as the years have passed, and I became more closely connect with my highest self I noticed that the simple things all around me suddenly took on new meaning.

    I was in awe of nature, and filled with a feeling of joy just to experience simple things like the cherry trees blooming in the spring, or the birds flying over head.

    I was suddenly aware of so much more, how interconnected we all are with every single thing around us, and the feelings of gratitude and joy.

    It really gives new meaning to the the old cliche, "Stop and smell the roses"

    Regards
    Olga

  9. YES, OF COURSE MR GAGE..I ALWAYS TAKE TIME TO NOTICE ALL THE BEAUTIFUL THINGS THAT GOD HAS GIVEN US AND ALSO TO THANK HIM FOR THE PRIVILEGE OF BEING ALIVE AND ENJOYING EVERY WAKING MOMENT IN THIS WORLD...LIFE IS GREAT, ESPECIALLY IF YOU'RE HEALTHY....

  10. THE WORLD IS NOT A TERRIBLE PLACE...IT'S THE PEOPLE WHO DON'T APPRECIATE THIS GREAT GIFT OF NATURE THAT MAKE IT TERRIBLE...

  11. I find myself needing to slow down more to appreciate the many blessings that are all around me......once I do it, its amazing how empowered I am to continue on this journey and my lense seems much clearer! Thanks for reminder!! Gonna go have lunch on the beach today!!

  12. This is so true. Especially as a parent, I find my greatest joys taking time to enjoy my child and his wonder at the world around him. As we grow up, we lose that wonder, getting caught up in work, etc. A former pastor of mine called it hurry sickness. I try to take a few moments each day to combat this. Remember what joy comes from the simplest things in life that we miss when we are in such a hurry to get things done! Thanks for your wisdom.

  13. For me it's watching the native birds fly in for feed and enjoying that interaction with them, listening to the frogs in the neighbour's pond when I'm falling asleep at night and for something a little less natural, listening to someone giving their V8 a hard time. Sweet!

  14. Being out in the sea surfing, and having fish jumping out of the water just 1 meter away... or lying on my back listening to every sound there is and slowly letting go, into the depth...

  15. Just watched my little dogs wake up and stretch themselves like there's no tomorrow :). And they stretch every single muscle, including each leg in turn. It's hilarious but I've never really noticed it before. Thanks for helping me open my eyes.

  16. I soak up all the natural delight I can. When at work, to get away for a moment I step outside to where the palms and flowers are, there are always beautiful yellow butterflies fluttering around over there. I just sit and watch them play in the breeze, and drift off in imagination of what fun it would be to be a butterfly.

    Squirls are my favorite, watching them chase each other around a tree, it's like they play hide & seek, or tag.

    When at home I enjoy my kitty cat whom I have had the pleasure of being with for 10 years now. She still plays like a kitten sometimes, just running about the house acting all silly. She loves cat-nip, lol, that stuff makes her really crazy.

    When possible I to stop in the moment to soak up the beauty of what nature has gifted us.

    😉
    Jamie

  17. Dear Randy,
    the only think I can say through the above vision is: I dont change that moment with anything.

    Best wishes
    Maryam

  18. These few days, taking a moment to be awed by the majesty of thunder clouds and abundant rain.

    Snuggling between the sheets to the sound of pouring rain, reminders of safety and comfort as a child growing up in the tropics.

    Loving life, loving myself, feeling the embrace of the wind, rain, deep rumbling thunder as I surrender to life living me as much as I live life.

    kh

  19. I'm standing out in our local community, the whole family does. You can well imagine. And so does my 9-year daughter in her class. When I came home from the Leaders seminar Sunday evening she cried her eyes out because she didn't want to go to school where nobody likes her, nobody understands her and treats her nice. So I said that the bird would sing when she went to school next morning, that she may meet a kind person on her way to school who will return her her smile and greeting and that many other wonderful simple things might happen only if her eyes were open for them. When she came from school yesterday afternoon, she said: "Mum, after you told me, that someting nice would happen to me each and every day... I was so popular in my class today... life is a very simple art, when you master the skills, aye?

    Love, Natasha

  20. We are all miracles! So is everything around us. This post ties in so well with yesterday's. How often do we pass by the opportunity to make a new friend as well? Because we are failing to stop and enjoy we are missing "golden moments".

  21. There are 15-20 swallows diving and swooping through the yard and balconies hunting for there breakfast. There are heavy, think clouds pouring over the moutains across the valley and the sun is blazing on this mountain side. Some morning there are yellow and black larks teasing the dog over her food but not today.

    Some days I get lost watching out from my office window.

  22. Morning walks do it for me. I live in a secluded neighorbood. I rarely encounter a soul, other than deers or a squirrels. I soak everything in; the air, trees, leaves, animals. Instead of oberving these things I feel like I'm in them; perfect harmony.

    The beach is my favorite spot. We had a Nor-easter in NJ last week and watching the pounding surf was amazing. It puts me in another place.

  23. While living in South Africa the most enjoyable time was spending it in the game reserves. Parking near a water hole and watching the animals. The warthogs playing in the mud, running with their tails straight up in the air. The Giraffes spreading their legs so that they can get down to drinking. They animals making way for the herd of elephants coming for their drink & then having fun time playing in the water. My most spiritual times in when I am out of the city and spending time in the natural environment.
    Sorry Randy that you could not take time to enjoy the wonders of the game parks in SA when you were in Bloemfontein.

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  • 36 comments on “Making Time for Simple Pleasures”

    1. I know I love to drink in moments like that!

      I get that a lot driving up to my parents house through the mountains. I bet probably 50% of the time I get very caught up with the way the leaves sway in the wind with the sunlight gleaming down through the tree tops to make some amazing looking light-effects.

      Gorgeous stuff!

      Jeremy Reeves
      http://www.ReevesCopy.com

    2. Watching my puppy sleep is a simple pleasure. He's so adorable and so huge now compared to when we got him just a mere three months ago. That complete giving in to the world when he sleeps knowing he is protected by us. Listening to the ocean (which is hard to do in Dallas), but when I can get that vacation, that's where I am... is my most favorite pleasure.

    3. A great example of your blog post today post was written about in the Washington Post on April 8 2007.

      The article was called Pearls Before Breakfast and it was a social experiment on how beauty in life (aka the simple pleasures) is perceived when taken out of context.

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/04/AR2007040401721.html

      "This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of an social experiment about perception, taste and priorities of people. The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?

      One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be:

      If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?"

    4. -RG,

      I read your post and stepped outside for a moment.

      I'm in Colorado, it snowed about a foot a day ago. My fist thought was "it's cold" then I looked around. It's a clear bright sunny morning the light playing off the snow mingled with the shadows is breathtaking.

      Yes there are moments to take in everyday, everywhere.

      I imagine that true enlightenment is that every moment is a simple pleasure.

      -djm

    5. A hot cup of coffee on a cold morning, the smell of poplar burning in the wood stove, the kiddo giving me a hug for no reason just cus she loves her momma, watching the fish preening when i come over to the tank,sliding my clean body into freshly laundered sheets with the knowledge that I have nowhere to go and nothing to do when I wake up in the morning. Those are just a few of my simple pleasures. And yes indeed I enjoy EVERY minute of them.

    6. Good moringing Randy,
      Ok, maybe rootbeer instead of Dr. Pepper! L.O.L.
      You are right though, how many magical, spiritual moments do we let go by us without notice? Douglas mentioned we got snow here in Colorado. Yes it's a pain in the butt for the morning commuters but if you just stop a take a look around, it looks like a Hallmark greeting card outside! You can't beat that!

      Anyway, here's to simple pleasures! May we all stop and and take notice today!

      Lucinda (The Opera Diva)

    7. I'm fortunate to live in the SF Bay Area which is a natural wonder and paradise. Every morning I go for a run along the Bay and take in the natural beauty daily. I've been living here most of my life and EVERY time I cross the Golden Gate Bridge I am stunned by the beauty I behold as I gaze to one side and see the Pacific Ocean and then to the other where I see the SF Bay, SF skyline and sailboats gently gliding beneath the bridge..

      So yes, I take in the beauty and the simple things all the time and am so grateful for what the Universe provides..

    8. Hi Randy;

      I'll speak for myself on this subject, and say that as the years have passed, and I became more closely connect with my highest self I noticed that the simple things all around me suddenly took on new meaning.

      I was in awe of nature, and filled with a feeling of joy just to experience simple things like the cherry trees blooming in the spring, or the birds flying over head.

      I was suddenly aware of so much more, how interconnected we all are with every single thing around us, and the feelings of gratitude and joy.

      It really gives new meaning to the the old cliche, "Stop and smell the roses"

      Regards
      Olga

    9. YES, OF COURSE MR GAGE..I ALWAYS TAKE TIME TO NOTICE ALL THE BEAUTIFUL THINGS THAT GOD HAS GIVEN US AND ALSO TO THANK HIM FOR THE PRIVILEGE OF BEING ALIVE AND ENJOYING EVERY WAKING MOMENT IN THIS WORLD...LIFE IS GREAT, ESPECIALLY IF YOU'RE HEALTHY....

    10. THE WORLD IS NOT A TERRIBLE PLACE...IT'S THE PEOPLE WHO DON'T APPRECIATE THIS GREAT GIFT OF NATURE THAT MAKE IT TERRIBLE...

    11. I find myself needing to slow down more to appreciate the many blessings that are all around me......once I do it, its amazing how empowered I am to continue on this journey and my lense seems much clearer! Thanks for reminder!! Gonna go have lunch on the beach today!!

    12. This is so true. Especially as a parent, I find my greatest joys taking time to enjoy my child and his wonder at the world around him. As we grow up, we lose that wonder, getting caught up in work, etc. A former pastor of mine called it hurry sickness. I try to take a few moments each day to combat this. Remember what joy comes from the simplest things in life that we miss when we are in such a hurry to get things done! Thanks for your wisdom.

    13. For me it's watching the native birds fly in for feed and enjoying that interaction with them, listening to the frogs in the neighbour's pond when I'm falling asleep at night and for something a little less natural, listening to someone giving their V8 a hard time. Sweet!

    14. Being out in the sea surfing, and having fish jumping out of the water just 1 meter away... or lying on my back listening to every sound there is and slowly letting go, into the depth...

    15. Just watched my little dogs wake up and stretch themselves like there's no tomorrow :). And they stretch every single muscle, including each leg in turn. It's hilarious but I've never really noticed it before. Thanks for helping me open my eyes.

    16. I soak up all the natural delight I can. When at work, to get away for a moment I step outside to where the palms and flowers are, there are always beautiful yellow butterflies fluttering around over there. I just sit and watch them play in the breeze, and drift off in imagination of what fun it would be to be a butterfly.

      Squirls are my favorite, watching them chase each other around a tree, it's like they play hide & seek, or tag.

      When at home I enjoy my kitty cat whom I have had the pleasure of being with for 10 years now. She still plays like a kitten sometimes, just running about the house acting all silly. She loves cat-nip, lol, that stuff makes her really crazy.

      When possible I to stop in the moment to soak up the beauty of what nature has gifted us.

      😉
      Jamie

    17. Dear Randy,
      the only think I can say through the above vision is: I dont change that moment with anything.

      Best wishes
      Maryam

    18. These few days, taking a moment to be awed by the majesty of thunder clouds and abundant rain.

      Snuggling between the sheets to the sound of pouring rain, reminders of safety and comfort as a child growing up in the tropics.

      Loving life, loving myself, feeling the embrace of the wind, rain, deep rumbling thunder as I surrender to life living me as much as I live life.

      kh

    19. I'm standing out in our local community, the whole family does. You can well imagine. And so does my 9-year daughter in her class. When I came home from the Leaders seminar Sunday evening she cried her eyes out because she didn't want to go to school where nobody likes her, nobody understands her and treats her nice. So I said that the bird would sing when she went to school next morning, that she may meet a kind person on her way to school who will return her her smile and greeting and that many other wonderful simple things might happen only if her eyes were open for them. When she came from school yesterday afternoon, she said: "Mum, after you told me, that someting nice would happen to me each and every day... I was so popular in my class today... life is a very simple art, when you master the skills, aye?

      Love, Natasha

    20. We are all miracles! So is everything around us. This post ties in so well with yesterday's. How often do we pass by the opportunity to make a new friend as well? Because we are failing to stop and enjoy we are missing "golden moments".

    21. There are 15-20 swallows diving and swooping through the yard and balconies hunting for there breakfast. There are heavy, think clouds pouring over the moutains across the valley and the sun is blazing on this mountain side. Some morning there are yellow and black larks teasing the dog over her food but not today.

      Some days I get lost watching out from my office window.

    22. Morning walks do it for me. I live in a secluded neighorbood. I rarely encounter a soul, other than deers or a squirrels. I soak everything in; the air, trees, leaves, animals. Instead of oberving these things I feel like I'm in them; perfect harmony.

      The beach is my favorite spot. We had a Nor-easter in NJ last week and watching the pounding surf was amazing. It puts me in another place.

    23. While living in South Africa the most enjoyable time was spending it in the game reserves. Parking near a water hole and watching the animals. The warthogs playing in the mud, running with their tails straight up in the air. The Giraffes spreading their legs so that they can get down to drinking. They animals making way for the herd of elephants coming for their drink & then having fun time playing in the water. My most spiritual times in when I am out of the city and spending time in the natural environment.
      Sorry Randy that you could not take time to enjoy the wonders of the game parks in SA when you were in Bloemfontein.

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