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Count your blessings one by one. Sunday December 6, 2015

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.'

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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Mr A non Sun, Dec 6th 2015 @ 12:26am

I just called to my misses who's in the other room ,'What are you're simplest pleasures in life'?. After a few seconds silence she replied 'You'. Is this a compliment or not?

the room above the garage Sun, Dec 6th 2015 @ 7:52am

I'm laughing! This could go either way!! In the spirit of Moodscope, I think we can only say yes, be complimented :-D

Mr A non Sun, Dec 6th 2015 @ 12:29am

A good thought provoking Blog Mike Thanks

Jennifer Sun, Dec 6th 2015 @ 6:13am

Aw what a great question Mike for your daughter to ask. Lovely blog. No one up in my house up yet so enjoying the peace! And reminds me of a poem my mum likes..."What is this life, if full of care,we have no time to stand and stare"....Joy being found in the little moments yes that we can miss sometimes in the busyness of life. Thankyou x

the room above the garage Sun, Dec 6th 2015 @ 7:50am

Hello Mike, I love this! And these are the very things we will wish for more of when we get old, old, old, not anything else. A common ground with teenagers...precious! :-) Thank you.

Adam Sun, Dec 6th 2015 @ 8:34am

Great post Mike!

LillyPet Sun, Dec 6th 2015 @ 9:17am

I loved that too Mike, a daughter to be proud of! One of my simple pleasures is looking at the sky.
SoMetimes it's so beautiful it's like having a huge work of art just there and smile and think someones been painting the sky again! Not in a religious way for me, but reminding me of the awesome beauty of nature. Not so simple really!
Thanks for a great blog Mike! I'll be looking out for them today :) might even chat with my kids about it, they might surprise me! LP :)

LillyPet Sun, Dec 6th 2015 @ 6:16pm

" and smile" should've read "I smile" :)

Norman Sun, Dec 6th 2015 @ 10:19am

Lovely Mike! When my son and I were arguing some years ago he said: "don't forget, I'm the one who gets to choose your old folks home..."

The Gardener Sun, Dec 6th 2015 @ 11:15am

My two elder sons (their children are older than Mike's daughter) have been amazing - we've never been so close - through all the dramas, when we've had time we've had pleasant dinners together, and talked and talked. And I need communication so much. Mr TG is far worse than before hospital - he does have eye problems, but he insists on wearing a sun visor which effectually reduces by half what vision he does have - eye surgeon says totally unnecessary. Dark, dreary December morning - if I put a top light on he yells at me, can't have computer screens anywhere near him. Wakes me up at least 6 times per night. Is jealous of anyone I speak to, on phone or visiting - any pretext to disturb us. So, count your blessings? Pollyanna time, find something to be glad about. I've got lots of lovely things to do - but how? I'm (says she smugly) a great organiser - but the worse the sleep deprivation the greater the trivial tasks become. Just fed my birds, swear the blackbird said 'thank you'. The sparrows just harrass me by peering through the windows till I deal with them. I have yellow and orange black-eyed Susans still out on our elegant outside staircase. Mike's 'sitting round chatting in the kitchen', where better and, there is a chance that my new one, designed for chatting might be ready end of week. Watching a storm at sea, anywhere. Ditto sunsets. Once, in Australia, a crowd of huge black cockatoos with scarlet tails flying into the sunset to roost. The beaches or North and West Australia seen from the air. The eerie beauty of the inhospitable mountains in Northern Iran seen from the air. All my rambler roses out together in June. (That's enough, Ed)

Frankie Sun, Dec 6th 2015 @ 12:36pm

Morning Gardener; have lit a candle for you and Mr. G; will think of you later when at Advent service ... What amazing pictures you paint! Frankie

LillyPet Sun, Dec 6th 2015 @ 6:13pm

The image of the black scarlet tipped cockatoos heading off into the sunset is beautiful TG. Sorry that things are tough again after a period of respite. Is Mr TG home for the Christmas period and beyond or is it temporary? It sounds like he did well for a while and began to settle. Maybe he'd be more stable where he was with shorter visits home for you both to look forward to? If nothing else you need your sleep. ( maybe asking someone to support you with a few night duties could be something to ponder on in the short term? You need a night nurse!) I know how hard it WAS for you to ask for help, but I recall you going for it on that front recently! Apologies if my naive suggestions and questions are a bit intrusive! I have no idea how hospital care is arranged and it's probably not as easy as I wish it could be for you! Will be sending good wishes your way anyway. LP xx

Frankie Sun, Dec 6th 2015 @ 12:46pm

Wonderful Mike, thank-you; no, not corny - there is much wisdom in old sayings. Familiarity can breed contempt, though I do try to welcome the message behind the words rather than dismissing them out of hand. Back in May, in response to a challenging blog from Lex, I spent a week writing down 4 things to be grateful for each day (also 5 things about myself that I love - that was challenging!) It is an exercise which is well worth doing, and can really help to challenge repetitive negative thinking. Frankie

Mr A non Sun, Dec 6th 2015 @ 4:30pm

(After four months on a downward spiral) , I now really,really appreciate having back the simple ability to be able to laugh or even just smile at something funny. (Without having to force it for any bystanders present) Until its gone we never realise how precious the simplest things are

Lex Sun, Dec 6th 2015 @ 5:21pm

When the light begins dawning
I yearn towards my shower that morning
The birds are singing, the cats purring
Hot toast and butter feeds my hunger's yearning
The first slurp of coffee with cream
Feels like waking up to a dream
A kind exchange of affection
Gets me moving in the right direction
Starting the day in this way
Makes the work seem like play...

[Great blog and question, Mike!]

LillyPet Sun, Dec 6th 2015 @ 5:52pm

Nice one Lex :) LP x

Samantha Sun, Dec 6th 2015 @ 5:23pm

A brilliant blog, thank you Mike and so true. It's easy to overlook and stop appreciating the simple pleasures in life especially when you're not feeling 100%. Since recovering from a dark and horrid depression I have learnt to seize every opportunity to enjoy life and stop to notice the things that feel enjoyable. I am not glad I suffer from depression but I am thankful that it has given me insight to notice the simple pleasures that make life worthwhile.

LillyPet Sun, Dec 6th 2015 @ 5:51pm

Samantha, it's so good to hear about your coming out of that depression. How did it come about? Was it sudden or gradual? It would add more hope to moodscopers to to hear about it! LP xxx

Samantha Mon, Dec 7th 2015 @ 6:12pm

I would happily share my experience but don't know how or where on this site? If you could direct me that would be great.

danielle Mon, Dec 7th 2015 @ 8:20am

Fantastic blog Mike thank you! I love the simple pleasures and truly believe it is these little things that make life. I have a poster in my house which says 'all good things are wild and free' - i love the sound of running water, a lovely hot drink and choosing which tea to enjoy (we have 47 types in our house i think a bit obsessed!), i love a cuddle with a loved one, i love the way my cat wakes me in the morning, i love riding my horse as the sun sets the moon comes up and stars come out, i love a nice slice of freshly baked cake, i love snuggling up warm under a blanket, i love a hot shower ( i spent a week in the sahara a few years ago so now ALWAYS appreciate showers!), i love spring flowers and the little lambs, i love walking through the countryside in the fresh air. the list is long, thank you for reminding me of all these beautiful moments xxx

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