The conversation on the way had not been good. I was walking with my fifteen year old daughter to keep an appointment. And we couldn't seem to find any topic that interested us both.
But on the way back my daughter asked me a question which really got the conversation going. It wasn't hard to talk about this question for the next ten to fifteen minutes. It was like breaching a dam, we couldn't stop talking.
The question was 'What are your favourite simple pleasures?' In other words, of the pleasures which do not cost a lot of time or money or planning, which are your favourites?
Our answers included things like the first cup of tea of the morning; reading in bed at night; looking at a map to plan a walk; sitting around chatting in the kitchen; marshmallows melting in hot chocolate; a hot bath after getting soaked; watching beech leaves flutter to the ground in Autumn.
What surprised me was how many of these pleasures there were, and how easy it was to bring them to mind. So many small things every day, costing no money or very little money, which give us pleasure. At the same time I realised how I often overlook these things, don't really notice them and don't give thanks for them.
Perhaps if I could notice and appreciate and relish and be more thankful for these simple pleasures, I would be less anxious and fretting and discontent with what I have now.
It's an old lesson I know and perhaps a bit corny, but perhaps there is something in that old instruction to 'Count your blessings one by one.'
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