We are frequently exposed to pressure from advertising, lifestyle programs and the boasting of people around us. It is easy to get caught up in wanting more, bigger and brighter things and experiences. However, will this make our lives more enjoyable? The American writer, Laura Ingalls said, ‘I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all.’
Many people judge success in terms of money and possessions. There is the idea that if you have certain things you are successful and if you are successful you will be happy. If you have more things or what are believed to be better things you will be happier. Yes, it can be pleasurable to have nice things and live in a comfortable house. It is fun to go somewhere different and experience something new. However, these things don’t have to be expensive and we don’t need to compete with those around us. The ‘sweet, simple things of life’ can bring pleasure without lots of stress.
What are some of the sweet, simple things you enjoy? I love getting into bed with nice fresh sheets and reading a great book from the library while listening to music and drinking a mug of hot chocolate. Wow. All those pleasures in one hit. In the morning I like to eat breakfast outside. I love listening to the birds and watching them as I drink my coffee. Lately there have been some different species of birds enjoying nectar from the bottlebrush flowers in my neighbour’s garden. Isn’t spring a wonderful season?
It is exciting to note how the bushes in the garden have grown over the past few months. I have lots of colourful self sown annuals this year. Soon there will be roses in bloom. In the backyard I have planted some veggies. Gardening is a simple joy but so rewarding.
Yesterday I travelled to a suburb where I had noticed a painting on the wall of a shop. I wanted to take some photos of this painting. Okay, there was shadow which meant those photos weren’t great but then I explored the shops on both sides of the road. I found plenty of things to photograph. On the footpath there were interesting clay tiles featuring faces. There was a fence decorated with plants growing in teapots. It was a simple idea but quirky fun. A shopper stopped to talk about the things I was photographing and I enjoyed the social interaction.
There were stobie poles decorated with paintings just begging to be photographed. I stopped for a cappuccino at a café and sat out the front watching the cars and people. A couple of sparrows hopped around nearby searching for crumbs. Further down the street I wandered into a shop selling all sorts of handcrafts and unusual cards, clothes, crockery and bric-a-brac. I chatted to the lady who owned the shop.
My morning was filled with simple activities but they gave me inspiration and I scribbled ideas in my notebook. I took lots of photos and came home in good spirits ready to write an article. The writer, Jean Webster said, ‘It isn’t the big pleasures that count the most; it’s making a great deal out of the little ones.’