A Delicious Life Is Pleasurable
A delicious life is one that contains pleasure.
When was your last really excellent meal? Not just good, not just satisfying or healthy, but really excellent?
Perfectly prepared food in a pleasant environment that exactly fit what you were craving. Do you remember? Or do you feel like all your meals are eaten hurriedly over distractions like wall mounted TVs, whining kids, uncomfortable shoes, or annoying text messages?
When you’re living a delicious life, you know that you don’t need a perfect environment to thoroughly enjoy a good meal. You can give yourself 30 seconds to fully savor the coffee in your cup in your dirty, chaotic kitchen. You can go to a bakery and eat one small piece of bread with your eyes closed. And you can go on a date to a 5 star restaurant and be fully present to the experience without worrying about the kids, or the bill, or whether the wine will add 5 pounds to your hips.
When was the last time you gave your attention over completely to one media form that brought you pleasure?
We consume media all the time, but does it bring us pleasure? When was the last time you watched a TV show that you truly loved? Have you read any good books lately? Heck, have you read any good magazines?
Last week I went to the library and checked out 4 books, grabbing ALMOST indiscriminately from the shelves. I love reading, but our overflowing bookshelves (and boxes of books in the attic), make buying books a slightly guilty act. Hence the library: free plenteous books that will all go back!
I used to agonize over buying or checking out books. I would read the back and ponder whether I’d really enjoy the book. This was in part because I felt obligated to finish every book I started. But you know what? I don’t have to do that! In my Delicious Life, I can check out any book I find intriguing, because if I don’t like it, I’ll just return it to the library unread! What freedom!
And let’s not forget TV and movies. They may have a role in Your Delicious Life! I love the TV show Call the Midwife. Is it a perfect show? Nope. But I know what I will get. I’ll get to listen to British accents, see a woman give birth, and I’ll get to cry, either from sadness or joy. If I really need a good cry, I’ll invest 44 minutes into Call the Midwife. I also love the TV Show Once Upon a Time. That is not exactly an intellectual show! It has soap opera elements, ridiculous costumes, and some inane plot-lines. But it’s my guilty pleasure. I love the costumes. I love one or two of the characters. I love that the focus is all on strong women, even if they are all searching for True Love. I love that the men are extremely attractive to look at. I’m not gaining any huge intellectual or spiritual benefit from the show. And some weeks, the episode isn’t that great. But it brings me pleasure. I deserve 44 minutes of pleasure Once a week.
When was the last time you laughed until your sides hurt?
Laughter is hugely healthy. It’s contagious, it lightens your mood, and it decreases tension. And I’m not just talking about a smile, or a snicker, or an “lol” in a text message. I’m talking about spit out your coffee, slap your legs, pee your pants a little laughter. Letting yourself just laugh and laugh and laugh. I saw the movie Trainwreck, and I laughed til my sides hurt. Whenever I read The Bloggess, I laugh. My 4 year old brings me laughter several times a week, as long as I allow myself to enjoy her.
It’s amazing how often our own tension prevents us from laughing, you know? Instead we grumble and worry and crease our foreheads (check your forehead right now, is it tense?) and we miss so much joy and laughter. In a delicious life, you learn how to relax and laugh.
Share with us: when was your last awesome meal, the last hilarious TV show or movie you watched, the last amazing book you read?
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