THE SIMPLE PLEASURES

I began to write this, and my cat, Smokey, jumped on my lap and pushed the pen out of my hand. He had come for his morning cuddle, and nothing was getting in the way of that. No matter what, he insists on his 10 minutes of fuss – and it’s good for both of us: soothing, warm, a bit of love.

It struck me that we all need to put feeling good as a priority at the end of this year. Everyone I know has had it tough in one way or another, and it isn’t over yet. We all need to refresh ourselves. Cats know instinctively how to do this. Small children are similar: they can be really upset about something and then recover instantly when offered something that pleases them.

So let’s be childlike and actively seek out the simple pleasures for ourselves over this holiday period.

Enjoy the taste of good food, the smell of a scented candle, the twinkle of fairy lights, the cosiness of a favourite sweater, the sound of laughter.

Indulge yourself with a favourite movie or book, a soak in a scented bath, an extra helping of that dessert.

Appreciate the winter sun, the birds singing, the peace of a walk in the park or country, the beauty of nature even in its dormant period.

And delight in that close contact with those you love: give them an extra hug or video call, laugh with them, remind them of fun times you’ve had together, tell them you love them.

It would be lovely if the problems we have had through this year were over, but they’re not, so let’s concentrate on what we do have in our lives that’s good and leave the problems to one side for a little while.

Have a happy Christmas and refresh yourselves, ready to make a difference in 2021. Take a break and enjoy some simple pleasures.,

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