Simple Pleasures

As human beings we seek to be happy.

We look to meet others who will “make” us happy and we work very hard to achieve what we think will bring us happiness.  But we seem to be on a lifelong quest to find something that is elusive and undefined.  We say, “If only it were this way, I would be happy” or, “If only I had that, I would be content.”  In the meantime, we overlook all the little opportunities for happiness that come to us each day.

Have you ever noticed that it is often the small comforts, the simple pleasures, that soothe us the most and make us feel that all is right in the world?  Maybe it’s a favorite food that transports us to a childhood memory, or an unexpected kindness that makes our day, or seeing the first snowfall of the season.  In the moment that we experience the simplest pleasures, we are not thinking about our quest for happiness or worrying that we may never find it.  We are simply enjoying the moment and feeling alive.

Simple Pleasures is about recognizing the little gems of happiness that come to us each day and finding happiness in the moment.  Let us share the small, but real, joys that we discover and see how our happiness grows!

ABOUT ME

AnnetteMy name is Annette. When I started this site, I was working with adolescents who have emotional disturbance and I LOVED my job.  Throughout each day I would strive to be a loving, supportive, consistent force in the lives of my students.  I found that being a great listener was essential.  While my work was rewarding, at times it was highly stressful.  That was one of my reasons for creating Simple Pleasures.  Writing Simple Pleasures has been, and still is, my way to reflect on meaningful little joys and to share them with others.

I now work with elementary age students in an autistic support program where I continue to strive to be the same source of positive support for a new group of children.  Through my work and in sharing my thoughts and experiences, my personal goal is this: to recognize the simple pleasures in life and to nurture my inner peace and balance.

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53 thoughts on “Simple Pleasures

  1. Very well articulated and expresses basic truth that at some level we recognize but tend to forget: Remember to smell the roses along the way.

  2. My simple pleasure that I try to do every night, is heat up one of those shoulder herbal heat packs and make myself some tea with honey. When I do this, I forget about the day’s stressors and just sit and think about what comes to mind. 🙂

  3. I have just read many of your most recent posts, I have the attention span of a gnat sometimes (particularly when reading things on a computer I think the light makes me moth like). I really like your blog. I especially like your series on Heaven on Earth. An amazing Buddhist teacher and councilor once told me that it was essential to find my “laughing place”, my heaven on earth and that there may in fact be many laughing places.

    I also love what you wrote on the Serenity Prayer. It is so helpful to just breath in and out and give up control.

    Peace,

    Meg

    • Thank you for your positive response! You made my day. 🙂 One of my reasons for writing this blog is to explore what is meaningful to me in my experience of life. Another is to find connection with others. And yet another is to find a way to unwind from the stresses of day-to-day events.

      I agree with you about breathing and giving up control. So often the things we try hardest to control are the things of which we really have no control. Sometimes it takes us much time and frustration to figure that out! For better or worse, life hands us so many opportunities to learn this, don’t you think?

      Take care,

      Annette

  4. I really couldn’t agree more! Happiness does come from within. I love what Elizabeth Gilbert says in Eat Pray Love, “Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it. You must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it.” It connects so well to what you are saying about happiness.

    • I appreciate your comment! I haven’t read the book, but I did see the movie and one idea I took from it is realizing that stuff happens to us and sometimes we just have to go with, not knowing with certainty where life’s journey will lead us. That’s hard for most of us to accept.

      I like the quote you cited. If we can identify the true source of our happiness, and perhaps more importantly our unhappiness, then we will come to realize that we have the key to unlocking happiness available to us whenever we want.

  5. Hi Annette,

    Thanks so much for visiting my blog and liking “The Right Path.” I hope you’ll visit again and I look forward to reading more of your simple pleasure thoughts, as well.
    Lauren

  6. Thank you for liking my blog. I like yours too! Seems we have a similar outlook on life. I also worked with troubled adolescents, then overseas students. How well people respond to a little caring. I’ll add your link to my site. love, Eunice

    • Isn’t that interesting? I felt that too, that we share a similar outlook. As a matter of fact, I had said as much to my husband who was sitting next to me while I was reading your post. What a small world! I look forward to reading more of your blog. 🙂 Annette

  7. HI Annette…Thank you for liking my post. Love your blog!! I too love the “Serenity Prayer’…actually have it posted on my blog as one of my favorite prayers. Yes it is so important to see the little things that very often are right in front of us. Little things that mean so much. Have a good day. 🙂

    • Thanks so much for the positive comment! I think that the Serenity Prayer is a wonderful and simple request for support and guidance, acknowledging that life can be challenging and difficult to handle on our own. I think that it reminds me to calm myself and find a way to become centered when I’m feeling like I have little or no control. I’m so glad you found my blog! It’s great sharing thoughts with you. 🙂

      • Thank you. I find the same thing with the Serenity Prayer. If I am feeling overwhelmed, etc…I love to repeat the prayer several times. I find it calming too. 🙂

  8. Annette, glad we connected. I’m passing your website on to my sister, a school counselor in the Virginia public school system. I know she’ll enjoy reading your positive achievements and thoughts. She just got Teacher of the Year at her school and was shocked, since she’s a counselor — rare but it does happen.

    • Thanks! I want to get to your site too – I didn’t get a chance to fully check it out today, but I will be soon.

      Congratulations to your sister! Having worked in an Emotional Support program, I think that the role of a counselor is essential and valuable. Unfortunately, school counselors are often overburdened with an overwhelming number of students to attend to. I am happy to hear that she was recognized for the work she is doing.

  9. Hello! Wonderful blog! I am a paraprofessional in a special education room as well. I was in an autism room for 3 years. I’m working with different students now, and loving it just as much! Glad I stumbled onto your blog! 🙂

    • Thanks! It’s great to connect with another paraprofessional. I’ve worked in Special Education for some time now, and I’ve come to appreciate the difference in the approach we make (compared with general ed.) in meeting the special needs of our students. When I started to work in Special Ed., I was employed as a substitute teacher (emergency certified) for our county’s intermediate unit, and I got the opportunity to work with kids from all areas of special need. What a valuable experience! For ten years I worked in an Emotional Support program (alternative school for middle- and high school students) and I really loved that. But you know what? If you love children and you are dedicated to making a difference, and this is your vocation, you will find joy and value in working in any area of education or special education. I really believe that. As paraprofessionals, we provide students and teachers with a great amount of support. It is a shame that our occupation is so underpaid.

      Thank you for visiting my blog – I am planning to visit yours too!

      • i couldn’t have said it any better!!! and, i agree with you completely! we do get underpaid unfortunately, but the job is so rewarding in many other ways that it makes it all worth it! 🙂 everyday is filled with laughter and excitement! there is never a dull moment! i’m currently working with a little girl who is visually impaired, and i am learning so much from her! (as well as the other students in the room!) have a wonderful weekend!

      • You have a fantastic outlook and a genuine heart. We are as blessed to work with our children as they are to have us in their lives. It feels so good for me to know that someone else gets that. Thanks for sharing that with me! 🙂

  10. Thank you for visiting my blog “Eyes to Heart” and liking my post “Big Sky Country …” Life is full of gems of happiness and if we don’t recognize them we lose them. … Enjoy the journey … Dorothy 🙂

    • Renee, thank you for being so thoughtful with your nominations! What a nice surprise 🙂 When I get the chance, I will pay it forward. Thanks for the positive boost!

    • You’re welcome, Daniel. I’m glad you shared about Munch – what you wrote touched me. Your post did well to honor the relationship you had with Munch.

  11. It’s interesting how when I reminisce about times when I was happiest, it just so happens to also be the times when things were simplest – When I was a kid growing up on a farm, spending my summers running through fields and forests, and riding my bike for hours with no cares.

    • So true! In addition, for me, I would have to say that the times I’ve been happiest have also been the times when I was truly living in the moment; not worried about anything or thinking about anything to come; just right there, enjoying whatever I was doing. The way you describe your happiest times, to me sounds like you were living fully in the moment, too.

  12. I’ve enjoyed exploring your site, Annette, and look forward to a return visit. Without the negative we cannot know the positive influences and pleasures in our days. If we choose to only give credence to the positive, the negative aspects lose power and acts only as a re-enforcer of our visions toward the positive in life.

    Good job, and good for you. I look forward to seeing your little pleasures.

    • What a good reminder! At times it is easy to forget that what is perceived as negative can act as a foil to reflect the lighter, positive aspects of life. I am so glad you came by. I am enjoying your joint blog and look forward to checking out your individual blog. Take care!

      • Why, thank you, Annette. We always enjoy having visitors, so please don’t be a stranger.

  13. I would like to say thank you for keeping me informed, entertained and thoughtfully challenged with your blog posts. I appreciate the contact I have with you in this Land of Blog and in recognition of that I have nominated you for the Liebster Blog Award. Please visit my blog to respond and play along. Keep up the good work!! Thank you.

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