Day Five: Seeking Small Pleasures

At this moment, I am enjoying the heck out of a cup of coffee. Well, not at this exact moment, I’m typing, and the coffee would be everywhere. But before and after typing this, and between sentences, I’m really focusing on the small pleasures of a good cup of coffee.

Denial sucks. And living well almost always starts with denial framing; you can say “I’m going to eat healthier,” but your inner voice is really saying “I’m going to stop eating the junk I enjoy.” You can say “I’m going to take charge of my drinking,” but there’s going to be a tiny critic that says “I’m going to stop enjoying a drink.”

Today, I’m focusing on small pleasures.

I can’t compensate directly for the gluttonous joy of too much pizza or a bag of chips, but I can lean into other things that are actually, really, quite nice. I’m drinking coffee grown in Peru and fresh-ground in my own kitchen, made in an Italian invention and served in a mug that I’ve owned since I was 12 years old. These are all pretty amazing things.  In aggregate, it’s a goddamned miracle, and an experience that is unique to me alone, in this time, in this place.

That’s pretty cool.

I don’t think denial is an avoidable part of this process; I know there’s a lot of good ideas about positive thinking and framing, but it’s a bit ludicrous to think that we can’t acknowledge denial.

I’m hoping to kind of move the denial, though, and give my brain things to focus on and enjoy that make me feel less deprived — small pleasures, like a morning cup of coffee, that I may have started to take for granted over the past few years.

I’m leaning into a cup of coffee this morning. It’s delicious.

Small pleasures: coffee in my ancient Wolf Cub mug.
My venerable, 30+ year old coffee mug.