Enjoying the Simplest Things

Posted by: on Apr 16, 2012 | 4 Comments

Maybe it’s both too earnest and too obvious, but enjoy the simplest things. They are truly where the most pleasure comes from. Whether it’s a quiet moment, a comforting meal, or a familiar feature, don’t assume that something has to be grand to offer magnitudes of pleasure beyond what you expect.

You’re probably wondering what has me all sentimental at the beginning of this week, and it is no one thing in particular. I have just noticed of late that the more I pause and allow myself to enjoy the little things the less I find myself missing not having some of the things we might typically think of as “bigger.”

Take for example a dinner I had last week. Bread, potatoes, and ribeye, some decent red wine, and the company of a few friends I haven’t had much time for lately. Humbling sitting around a coffee table – no room in the kitchen – on mismatched chairs enjoying a relatively simple meal with good company was the best night I’ve had in weeks. The experience was far more than the sum of its parts.

As a willing and happy participant in a culture which spends a lot of time and energy focusing on $5000 suits, $1500 pairs of shoes, and $100 bottles of whisky, I think it is good to remind ourselves on occasion the limitations of these treasures. They can provide an immense amount of happiness, sure, but not when they become distractions.

This isn’t intended as some trite “money can’t buy happiness” speech, don’t misunderstand me. Sure, you can salivate, save, aspire, or whatever; I know I do, and I think it’s a perfectly healthy behavior. I only mean to say that if you spend your time wishing you were wearing Edward Greens instead of enjoying your walk, something is seriously wrong.



  1. Benn
    April 16, 2012

    Here, Here!

  2. Turling
    April 17, 2012

    Last September in the garage working on the truck with two buddies drinking some home brewed beer and listening to the Dodgers on a cheap radio. I’ll remember that day for a very long time.

    Well said, sir.

  3. Eldon
    April 26, 2012

    My grandma used to teasingly say “those that say money can’t buy happiness don’t know where to shop!”

    Loved your post. I find the tipping point is where it starts to feel like the thing owns you, not the other way around.

    Whenever life gets ‘off’ I always go back to reading the Stoics again!

    • Stephen
      April 26, 2012

      Your comment reminds me of the epigraph of The Beautiful and Damned – “The Spoils Take the Victor.” You’re absolutely right that this is the breaking point.


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