“One of the secrets of a happy life is continuous small treats.”
Coffee with creamer
and Triscuits with cheddar
bright belly dancers
and big Zumba classes…
Oh dear, that doesn’t rhyme at all.
Years ago, I read Sophia Loren’s 1979 autobiography Sophia: Living and Loving: Her Own Story. (I can’t wait to read her newest memoir, Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow: My Life.) In the former book, Sophia gave this bit of advice: Always combine a chore you dislike with something you enjoy. I believe she used the example of listening to your favorite music while ironing. Imagine that—Sophia Loren ironing! In any case, that’s very sage advice, and I forget it all too often.
It’s funny how seldom I take the time to remember my favorite things. Is that true for you too? I find myself schlumping through my ordinary routine wearing ordinary clothes and thinking ordinary thoughts. It only takes a few simple treats to light up my day, but far too often I forget to include these small treats.
And so, for the record, here is a list of things that bring me joy. Henceforth, I resolve to do at least one of these every day. If I can manage to do five items from the list, I shall paste a gold star upon my calendar. (I like to start resolutions with “Henceforth”—makes it sound very official.)
• Listening to my favorite music: samba, blues, jazz
• Belly dancing
• Lighting a scented candle that smells of pine, or orange
• Attending a live music performance
• Zumba class
• A good workout at the gym
• Reading a cookbook or cooking magazine while eating breakfast or lunch. Weird, huh?
• Reading a girly magazine in the bathtub
• Plopping down on the couch with a good book in the middle of the day
• Going out for coffee—with a friend or by myself
• Taking a walk through the park, or along the waterfront, or just through the neighborhood
• Belting out jazz standards. No one will ever pay to hear me sing; nevertheless, there’s something so satisfying about a classic like “Come Rain or Come Shine.”
• Petting a friendly dog or cat—or horse, or sheep, or… Animals always lift my mood.
• Wearing something fancy. I have some lovely, sparkly jewelry, some artistic clothing, but I tend to reach for the same old jeans and sweaters over and over again.
• Making soup
• Strolling through antique shops and other funky emporiums. I seldom buy anything, but I enjoy browsing.
• Going to the library. So many books, and all free!
• Visiting an art museum or gallery
• Visiting a book store
• And of course, spending some—ahem—“quality time” with my beloved.
Let there be treats! What are your favorite small treats?