Have Chocolate Every Day and 3 Other Delightfully Simple Ways to Bring More Joy Into Your Life

Have Chocolate Every Day and 3 Other Delightfully Simple Ways to Bring More Joy Into Your Life

I have been walking around my house carrying a box of chocolate covered pecan clusters that was given to me in a secret Santa exchange by a friend over the holidays. It had somehow been placed in a cubbie in my mud room, and I only recently discovered it when looking for winter hats and scarves that needed washing. You can only imagine the sheer joy of my discovery. I very rarely buy sweets for myself or my family, probably because of the miniature sugar mountain I pour into each and every cup of coffee on a daily basis. After a long day, the first thing I did was open the box of chocolates, and everything else this evening has just felt rosier.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 When you’re an adult, it is somehow all too easy to forego indulging in life’s little pleasures the way one does as a child. It’s not just about chocolate. Children have a way of making everything about them (probably an evolutionary adaptation) and as a result, they are rather resourceful in getting what they want (some might say bratty). As a kid I had so many small pleasures; getting new dolls was a regular occurrence, and going to the library every single weekend to spend hours looking for the perfect books to read during the week. It was a much simpler time, free of so many of the responsibilities that now seem all but an inevitable part of being alive. We work so hard to provide for our families, try to get to work on time, pay our bills, and generally keep things running pretty smoothly all the while delaying so much of the gratification that comes with just doing things for ourselves, with our pleasure in mind. So here are some ideas of easy things that will bring some much needed joy into your life, hopefully releasing the inner kid within.
                                                                                                                                                                                         Play with Balls. Dodgeball in particular comes to mind. The sheer joy of trying to aim those glorious rubber balls straight at that really annoying kid in gym class is something you can still replicate. Kickball is great too. I used to spend every single afternoon in 3rd and 4th grade playing kickball after school. Obviously this is easier if you have a large family, or a big group of friends but it is not wholly impossible for a smaller crowd to do. Turn your next gathering into an outdoor ball bonanza and you will see how quickly grown men revert to their giddy child selves.
Have a secret spot. Is there a place only you know about? Maybe it’s a kick butt froyo shop, or an awesome eclectic coffee shop that has a barista that knows your order by heart, or a special tree you like to sit under on a breezy summer day. Whatever it is, go there more often, and enjoy spending time with yourself, away from responsibilities. It may not be easy if you have young children, but everyone needs time to themselves. Go to your spot whenever you need to recharge, and forget about being an adult (as long as you bring real money, not monopoly money to pay the barista).

Engage the whimsical. I get that you and I are grownups that work in professional settings and as a result need to act and dress accordingly, but wouldn’t it just nice to ditch the full suit and tie vibe for something a little more fun? My stepdaughter got my husband a singing frog tie one year for his birthday. Doesn’t get much sillier than that. I am not suggesting that you stop acting professionally and get yourself fired as a result, because kids don’t have mortgages but you probably do. Just be on the lookout for more opportunities to bring a whimsical note to your life, whether having breakfast for dinner, or jumping in the pool with your clothes on next time it’s a really hot day. Life is too short to not try to squeeze as much joy as possible from each and every single day.

 

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