Every year or two, I write a post about the small pleasures in life. Maybe it's a good exercise in gratitude for me.
Mostly, the pleasures haven't changed much during the 15 years I've been producing this blog but with adjustments now for cancer, new ones come along and old ones are enhanced in their pleasure.
My number one small pleasure remains at the top of the list - a hot shower beating down on my back. I could stand there for hours, I think, except that after awhile I feel guilty about wasting water.
Many old people have stools to sit on while they shower and grab bars should be automatic tools in everyone's bathroom. But the bars are not always in the right place, and how many can you have.
So I've added a new procedure to my showers now that I'm not as sure on my feet as I once was: I make certain that my hand or elbow is always touching the wall. That's all it takes to keep me balanced – that, and not shutting my eyes.
Safety is important but it's that hot water streaming over me that I look forward to every day.
The murder of crows who frequently hang out in the parking lot of my apartment area. They squawk and yell and caw and I don't know if they're arguing with one another or screaming at me when I walk by, but they always give me a laugh.
Ice cream. For a couple of months, I've been off chemotherapy that disallowed cold food and drink, and I've been indulging myself any time I want.
In case you think cancer and/or chemo have no up side, I've learned from the nursing staff that they both use up energy and calories faster than healthy bodies. So it doesn't matter how much ice cream I eat; it keeps my weight up.
While we're talking about food, popcorn, in bed while watching a good movie. I like my popcorn with warmed maple syrup poured over it.
Speaking of movies, watching my all-time, favorite movie again: The Third Man. (With popcorn, of course.)
The mornings when I can get out of bed without pain. It's been going on for more than a month, it occurs arbitrarily and the doctors are working to find a cause. Meanwhile, I don't know, when I wake, if it will hurt to get up. When it doesn't – Hurray for the day!
The joy of reading a book you can't put down. It never gets old.
Driving on an old road where the trees have spread out and sunlight is filtered through the leaves. It's beautiful and for me, it is also calming. It makes me feel for a short while that everything is right with the world (when these days we know perfectly well it is not).
Sipping a nice wine over the remnants of dinner with friends while solving all the problems of the world.
I appreciate these and other small pleasures even more than in the past and maybe that is true for other elders. Cancer has limited my energy and stamina, I tire more easily and sometimes I hurt. But all these pleasures and others, too, remain.
What are your small pleasures?