Enjoy The Simple Things in Life

Enjoy The Simple Things in Life (I Finally Get it)

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I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard or read the phrase, “Enjoy The Simple Things in Life.”

If I’m being completely honest, the concept sounds fantastic in principle, but I’ve never really been entirely sure how to achieve this.

You see, I have this habit of complicating matters, putting undue pressure on myself.

And I mean putting pressure on myself with even the most mundane of tasks like dusting the front room for example.

I’ve even been known to over complicate things that I enjoy doing, such as working out.

My mind is a troublesome and perplexing enigma, and sometimes I wish it would just leave me alone.

However, there’s been a strange occurrence in the old gray matter over the past couple of mornings and I think I may finally understand what it means to enjoy the simple things in life.

It Started With A Walk

One of the main things you typically hear about trying to be happy is that it’s important to exercise.

The release of feel-good factors during exercise is well-documented.

I’m talking endorphins, serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine.

Okay, admittedly none of these things mean a lot to me, but I understand that exercising gives me a natural high.

At the time of writing we are slowly but surely coming out of lockdown in London and I was overjoyed to hear that gyms will be opening again on Saturday 25th July 2020.

I’m so looking forward to that first session on Saturday even though I know by Sunday morning I’ll be walking around like I’ve pooped my pants and will probably not be able to lift my arms above my head.

Oh the joy of “almost” being a newbie gym goer again.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve exercised daily in the past 4 months of lockdown. It’s my thing. I can’t do without it.

But, a 16kg kettlebell, a 20kg sandbag, some sprints, some running, countless push-ups and pull ups will only go so far when you are a self-confessed gym-junkie.

So, in anticipation of the wondrous forthcoming event this Saturday, I decided to go for a walk instead yesterday morning (well that was an anti-climax).

I’ve always enjoyed walking and generally get in about 20-30 miles of walking a week (in addition to the gym sessions).

However, having taken lockdown extremely seriously, I’ve hardly ventured out of the house in a number of months.

Well that’s not strictly true, although my sprinting and running (and the very occasional walk) was typically done at 6am when there were literally only a handful of people around.

Anyway, I digress (I am going to take a guess and say that those 3 words are going to be the most frequently uttered words on this website. In fact, I wonder if I can get ranked in the search engines for those 3 words? Well you can only ask, can’t you? “Dear Google, please rank me on page 1, position 1 for the phrase – Anyway I digress – thank you.”)

I’ve done it again, haven’t I?

Okay, back to the point of the story.

So, as I was saying, Monday morning (yesterday) I decided to go for a walk.

The sun was out, but it was a very comfortable 16C (61F), and therefore perfect for strolling for a few miles.

I followed a route which took me past my old Primary School and through the park I played in throughout my childhood.

Roxbourne Park - The park I used to play in as a child

Okay not much to look at here, but this is the scene of one of my greatest victories.

I’m not entirely sure how old I was, but I’m guessing about 11.

We were in a heated battle, 3 against 3, the cricket match of our lives.

There was 1 ball left in this over and we needed 2 runs.

There was still an over to go afterwards, but it was their best player to bowl that one.

He had built up a head of steam and was roaring in from the railway track end (yes, there’s a railway track behind me) and he made Brett Lee look like a part-time Sunday league spin bowler.

I couldn’t face 6 balls from him without having my stumps splayed all over the place.

So, as their “not so good” bowler (well he was about 8-years old at best) came in to bowl the last ball of his over I could feel the nerves building up inside.

He bowled a long-hop, it bounced mid-pitch, I waited for about 97 minutes for that flat tennis ball to bounce another 3 times before it reached me.

I swivelled my hips Viv Richards-esque and smashed the ball for 4.

VICTORY!

I’m sorry, I’m not entirely sure what happened there.

I appear to have got caught up in a bit of daydreaming here and I’m pretty sure at least 70% of my readership have absolutely no idea what I’m even going on about.

I could have been reciting War and Peace backwards in Bengali for all you know.

But, my point, and there is a point – this short trip down memory lane while strolling through the park – well remember – enjoy the simple things in life.

And there’s more (but no more cricket stories from my youth I promise).

Okay, one final bit of cricket. For those who don’t know Sir Vivian Richards, shame on you.

Time For A Coffee

After just over 6 miles (around 10km to those who have no idea what 6 and a bit miles are) I decided to stop off at the local Costa Coffee (not a Starbucks fan I’m afraid).A woman looking at her phone with a milky coffee on the table in front of her

Yay! The coffee shops are finally open.

I ordered a large coconut latte (no, I’m not some new-fangled, modern, overly health-conscious moron. My profuse apologies to any “new-fangled, modern, overly health-conscious moron’s” reading this. But, you probably don’t want to know what milk does to my insides).

I went outside, sat in the sun (the temperature had now risen to a mind boggling 22C or 72F, well this is London and we’ll take whatever’s on offer, and decided to read a few personal development articles, like you do.

Once again, I felt this joyous wave of happiness and contentment wash over me as I sat there. It had been many months since I had just sat outside the coffee shop, read an article or two, slurped my coffee, and people watched (I love people watching, but don’t we all?)

As I sat there with a warm smile on my face I was once again reminded – “enjoy the simple things in life”.

What Did I Read?

The first article I read was 6 Positive Mental Health Takeaways From Staying Home.

Point number 5, “Learn more about your family” jumped off the page (smartphone) and smacked me right between the eyes.

In a way I’m glad that my late mother and father weren’t here to experience lockdown and the terrible covid-19 onslaught we have suffered over the past few months.

Life was a struggle for them both for a number of years prior to their passing. And they both would definitely have been in the firing line if they were still alive. Heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes, and respiratory problems between the two of them – 2020 would have been a real struggle.

However, reading the article above and especially the point of learning more about your family, I decided to ring one of their oldest friends there-and-then.

There’s a couple who live in Glasgow and they had known my parents for over 50 years. I knew they were currently going through their own struggles – the husband is suffering terribly with Alzheimer’s and is completely housebound, while his wife has become his full-time carer.

It had been a couple of months since I’d spoken to her, for which I felt bad, but I didn’t want to appear to be a burden and constantly hassle her, although one phone call every couple of weeks couldn’t have done any harm.

As it turns out, she was extremely grateful for the call, and I was highly appreciative of it too.Thank You NHS

We obviously discussed the difficulties she’s currently facing with her husband. The fact that he now has no idea who she is, the constant coming and goings of healthcare workers (Thank You NHS), plus she hasn’t left the house herself in months.

We then shared a couple of stories, spoke about old times, and I even discovered something about my father I had never previously known.

After around 30 minutes we said our goodbyes, and I promised I’d call again very, very soon.

Yet again, that warm feeling came over me (not the sun) and I felt really good inside.

You know exactly what I’m going to say:

“Enjoy The Simple Things in Life”

Final Thoughts

Why-oh-why do I have to try to complicate being content and happy?

A walk in the park and a trip down memory lane.

Sitting in the sun, sipping coffee, reading, and watching the world go by.

A chat with an old family friend.

It really is as simple as that.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who is forever chasing happiness. Expecting to attain some godly-like nirvana.

However, as it turns out, sometimes life’s simple pleasures are all you need.

Thank you for reading.

16 thoughts on “Enjoy The Simple Things in Life (I Finally Get it)”

  1. “My mind is a troublesome and perplexing enigma, and sometimes I wish it would just leave me alone.”

    I hear you! My husband is always telling me that I constantly make mountains out of molehills. And he’s not wrong. I am always putting pressure on myself when it isn’t necessary — this makes me feel like a failure before I have even started a task.

    I am so glad that there are people like you out there who are working hard to help people through these tough moments. Enjoying the simple things in life is so important — and something we all forget to do.

    Thanks again for this lovely post.

    Reply
    • Hi Darcy,

      Lovely to hear from you.

      Well ovethinking even the smallest thing is an issue that I’ve always had, and I’m sure there are many others out there just like you and me.

      I’m no expert, and in truth I’m using this website as a personal development tool for myself, so not only am I hoping to help other people, but to help myself too.

      Thank you ever so much for your kind comments I really do appreciate it.

      And please don’t be too hard on yourself. We all feel like failures occasionally, but I truly believe we are ALL capable of great things, as long as we don’t let that little voice in our head defeat us.

      Thanks again
      Partha

      Reply
  2. Hi Partha,

    This is a really interesting and quite strange (in a good way) article. When I was reading, it did feel like I was daydreaming too, I couldn’t look away until I had finished. I have read many articles when I couldn’t wait for it to end, but with this I just wanted to grab onto every last word. It’s amazing how you did that, and I would love to know how you did it.

    The article was actually very simple, and enjoying the simple things in life is something that should come so easy to us, but as you say, it doesn’t.

    It’s so easy to make simple things complicated, but it’s so difficult to make complicated things simple.

    Keep sharing these intriguing articles and keep up the other amazing work you do.

    All the best,

    Tom

    Reply
    • Hi Tom,

      Great to hear from you and thank you ever so much for your kind words.

      To be honest, a lot of people have said the same thing about my writing, but I personally don’t see it.

      I guess I just write whatever’s on my mind, try and keep it honest and entertaining, and basically hope for the best (nothing special to see here).

      Glad you enjoyed it anyway.

      I’m a great one for complicating life and for no good reason really, but I’m learning more each day to look out for the little things that can make a difference and make you feel good inside.

      Thanks again
      Partha

      Reply
  3. LOL, I lost you on the cricket, you were right, but also some other times. I am not an English native and had to google-translate a few words. Addled for one! But it was an interesting read and I salute you for calling your parents’ friend. So many people get abandoned by their friends when one of the couple gets Alzheimer’s.
    It is indeed the simple things in life that count 🙂

    Reply
    • Hi Hannie,

      LOL, always good to hear from you even if you’re not entirely sure what I’m saying some of the time.

      Although saying that, I do believe the Netherlands have done fairly well at a few Cricket World Cups now.

      Anyway, thank you for your kind words, and yes you’re perfectly correct, the simple things in life DO count.

      Partha

      Reply
  4. A really good post. Reading it alone does make you ‘drop out of the world’ for a few minutes so nice and relaxing already. I’m a massive cricket fan as well so I for one get what you’re talking about. I think most of us have had to get back to basics a little lately and while annoying in some ways it has highlighted that we do over complicate our lives so the little things as you say do make the difference.

    Thanks for sharing – Jason.

    Reply
    • Hi Jason,

      Great to hear from you.

      Fantastic, good to have found a fellow cricket lover, we all love King Viv.

      You’re so right, I think what the world has been through over the past few months has definitely highlighted a lot of things about our everyday lives.

      I think there are various activities, treats, things that we enjoy that many of us have taken for granted before covid-19 lockdown, and I guess it’s only now that we really realise this.

      Thank you ever so much for your kind words too.

      Partha

      Reply
  5. Hi Partha,

    I must say I really enjoyed reading your article and I was highly amused and chuckled on a few points in your article. Great sense of humour! 😀

    I absolutely loved imagining your childhood cricket match. However I did not understand the nitty gritty of it (I’m not too much into cricket as you may have guessed!) but I did like the way you set the scene, lol. Beautiful photo of the playground though.

    The Costa coffee and ‘watching people’ 😉 oh, and let’s not forget your request to ‘our dear Google!’ lol

    So, The summary of this article has inspired me to focus on the simple things and not make mountains of the molehills and just enjoy the simple moments.

    Thank you so much for this sharing.

    Best wishes

    Reply
    • Hi Rani,

      Always good to hear from you.

      Haha, it seems the mention of cricket has many people stumped (pun fully intended – for those that get it). Not to worry.

      Thank you for your kind words and I’m so glad that you “get” the overall message of my article.

      Yes, let’s all try not to “make mountains out of molehills” and focus on the simple things for a happier life.

      Partha

      Reply
  6. Hi Partha,

    A very inspiring and motivational read.

    I’m sure you’re not the only one looking forward to gyms opening back up, hopefully you won’t be seized up too much after it!

    The simple things in life definitely rings true for me, whether it’s going through traffic with no red lights or getting a free pen, I love the small things.

    Reply
    • Hi Sharon,

      Great to hear from you.

      Haha, I’ll have to see how I feel on Sunday morning, but I think I’ll take it easy for my first gym session in 4 months.

      That’s a fantastic attitude Sharon, and I’m sure it will always stand you in good stead. You’re perfectly correct, the small things are the things we typically never usually focus on, but they have a wonderful way of lifting our mood and spirits.

      Thanks
      Partha

      Reply
  7. As a software developer I had it drumbed into me, use the “KISS” approach. Keep it simple ?

    Well, that’s easier said then done!

    Since maths is the universal language, it couldn’t be any simplier. Just a serious of switches. Yes/No. On/Off, This way/That Way.

    We choose to overcomplicate matters and for many reasons, and reasons we have instilled into us from an early age.

    Get a good degree, good job, get married, buy an house, bring up the family.

    It would appear there just isn’t time for anything else, that’s why meditation is so important. 15 minutes a day is great, but 1-2 hours at the end of the day for me is much better. It clears that current day right out of my mind and allows me to sleep better.

    Going for walks in nature, running. fishing, sitting outside drinking tea/coffee.

    For me stop chasing the money, the dream (whatever that may be), chill and living in the moment.

    For me these are the simple things in life.

    Another great article Partha. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
    • Hi Mick,

      Always good to hear from you.

      Do you know what? I actually loved reading your description of what the “simple things in life” are for you.

      There’s nothing there that I wouldn’t actually enjoy doing and yet it is so simplistic in nature.

      In fact, I can guarantee some of the things you’ve mentioned could lead to a very happy, relaxing and peaceful life.

      And that’s pretty much what all of us are chasing.

      Loved it.

      Thank you
      Partha

      Reply
  8. What a fantastic article you’ve put together, Partha! I too have found myself reevaluating my life and learning to appreciate the simple things in life. Waking up in the morning is a blessing-praise God. Having all 5 of my primary senses and being in my right mind is a blessing-praise God. Having my dear mother here with me, despite all of our ups and downs, is a blessing-praise God. Being able to walk outside, breath in the fresh air, hear the birds chirping, and gaze upon the sunny, clear blue skies is a blessing-praise God. When we learn to appreciate the simple things in life, we’re much happier, we’re more satisfied, we’re calmer, and we approach the day with a more positive attitude. We all certainly need to heed this advice. Great read! God bless you!

    Reply
    • Hi Carletta,

      As always, it’s lovely to hear from you.

      Your description of those very basic, yet simple things in life, sounds absolutely amazing.

      Plus, I totally agree, it is these things that we often take for granted that give us the most pleasure.

      I’m always on the lookout for the opportunity to be grateful for something I may not even have considered before. There’s no need to complicate life after all.

      Partha

      Reply

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