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It's not often you see a leaf just standing there, perfectly upright in the middle of the path

It’s not often you see a leaf just standing there, perfectly upright in the middle of the path

Yesterday was a wet, grey Tuesday.  When we woke up the house was enveloped in cloud, the finest drizzle.  The trees in the distance had disappeared into greyness and the sun was nowhere to be seen.  We muddled through the morning and then decided to escape our cloud in the afternoon to explore the hinterland.

We drove to a nearby town.  Well, OK, that’s being a touch generous.  A village dressed up as a town.  But we did find a small cinema, an overflowing river, a fish and chip shop (always a bonus in the middle of rural France) and some majestic looking leaves to photograph (see above).  So we mooched around in the rain, taking silly photos, having big hugs and peering through the window of the fish and chip shop (which was closed of course – this is rural France after all).

Why am I telling you all this?  Because out of a wet, grey Tuesday came a fun and pleasurable afternoon where I remembered how important it is to laugh, at silly little things, to make a fool of yourself by pulling faces and taking photos, and to forget about all the serious, adult things we often spend time thinking about.

In the rush of doing, doing, doing, we forget to just stop and have fun.  What are the things that really give us pleasure?  And why aren’t we doing them?  Have we somehow self-imposed a pleasure threshold on ourselves?  “Oh no, I can’t do that.  It sounds like way too much fun!”  It’s so easy for the boring, mundane, soul-swallowing tasks of everyday life to take over if we’re not careful.

I’ve spent some time this week looking at old photos of myself as a child.  A happy, laughing child.  I wondered briefly where she had gone, but for a few moments yesterday I found her again, by the banks of the Vienne, photographing a leaf that looked like it was standing to attention.

Are you a pleasure seeker or have you unknowingly given yourself a pleasure threshold that cannot be broken?

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7 Comments

Amy Anderson · November 13, 2013 at 6:28 pm

This is such a perfect post. I love it!! Thank you for remembering me to seek pleasure not just tick off my to do list. Can we see some of the silly face photos?!

    elizabethmilligan · November 13, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    It’s easy to get bogged down in to do lists, isn’t it? It was such a miserable morning weather wise, but turned into a great day after all. Not sure if I’m ready to share the silly face photos just yet 😉

Philip Ogley · November 13, 2013 at 6:44 pm

A classic blog entry. Full of hard won wisdom. Enjoy life? Yes, please!

Anne-Sophie (@theannesophie) · November 14, 2013 at 11:24 am

I think you’re onto something when you say that we have self-imposed a pleasure threshold. Maybe it’s because we believe that as adults we aren’t supposed to have fun because we may look silly or childish? Maybe it’s societies restrictions or maybe it’s just our own darn selves? However, I believe that a life without fun and pleasure is a life only half lived and there is SO much fun to be had in this world that it would be such a shame to miss out on all that.

    elizabethmilligan · November 14, 2013 at 11:32 am

    Hi Anne-Sophie, thanks for your comment. Yes, I think it’s easy to focus on all of those things we feel we need to get done in a day and to not spend time enjoying ourselves. Too much “should” (whether self-imposed or coming from society) and not enough “want”!

How to Afford Anything You Want | Anne-Sophie · November 14, 2013 at 10:33 am

[…] Elizabeth writes about seeking pleasure here […]

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