There are only a few weeks left of summer, and I made an agreement with myself when I decided to pause for a bit from book promotion that I would reconnect with the simple pleasures of life for a few weeks. There’s something to be said for being able to do this, and to do it in a meaningful way. Taking the time to enjoy your favorite things is important to your psyche. This idea was reinforced on Saturday morning when we lost a pet.
She wasn’t a dog or cat, she was our parakeet, Holly, and we brought her home on Christmas Eve in 2010. She was white with blue feathers and she had a sweet disposition for a parakeet. Moreover, she was my daughter’s bird. My son’s parakeet, Poe, lived to see Holly passed away at the bottom of the cage. My daughter and I gasped when we saw her. She had been ill a couple of months ago and had made a miraculous recovery. We’d seen no signs she was sick again, except for a little labored breathing sometimes.
That little parakeet brought us joy. We always marveled when, as soon as you would turn the water on in the sink, the pair of them would begin to sing. If you put music on in the house or you played the piano, they would chime right in. She was the one of the two who would let you pet her tummy and she’d step onto your finger. She would also eat food from your hand, a Cheerio or piece of spray millet seed.
My daughter has never lost a pet she loved. Tears came as soon as she saw Holly, lifeless, her eyes closed, at the bottom of the cage that morning. I was sort of in shock, too.
My son and husband were at my son’s golf tournament that morning, so we had to execute the burial ourselves. In an “ode to coffee” moment, we placed her in a little coffee box and buried her among the big trees in the back yard. May that sweet little bird rest in peace. We will certainly miss her sweet songs.
Listening to her sing was one of the simple pleasures of life, something that made us happy. But there are so many more. If you had to list your top 10 simple pleasures, what would they be? It’s probably worth attempting to write your own list to see if you can identify those things that make you the happiest. Just jot down simple, everyday things that bring you joy.
I’d love to see your lists. Today, I’ll share mine (in no particular order). Remember, these are simple pleasures we do OUTSIDE of work, no matter how much we love our jobs (and I do love mine!). No working items are allowed here.
- Sitting on my porch writing or reading or relaxing.
- Watching my son enjoy the game of golf.
- Watching my daughter dance in her dance company.
- Eating crabs on date night with my husband.
- Hanging out at my parents’ house, walking in their neighborhood, or sitting by their pool.
- Shopping by myself.
- Taking long walks in the neighborhood.
- Getting completely lost in a really good book.
- Eating a good dessert and watching a movie or series on television with my family.
- Drinking a perfect cup of coffee and writing a blog post for you.
Hope your day is full of lots of simple pleasures. See you next time.
Stephanie Verni is Professor of Business Communication at Stevenson University and is the author of Inn Significant, Baseball Girl, and Beneath the Mimosa Tree. Along with her colleagues Leeanne Bell McManus and Chip Rouse, she is a co-author of Event Planning: Communicating Theory and Practice, published by Kendall-Hunt.