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Simple pleasures

Monday, July 6, 2009 by Marianne Elliott

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For the past two weekends I've done something that I hadn't done in a long time before this recent holiday. I took a full Sunday off without working.

In the place of work I've indulged in the simplest and yet most delicious pleasure of long, lazy brunches with good friends. Last week I found myself at an old haunt, the Matterhorn, with some precious old friends and their loved ones.

I realised by about my second cup of tea that I wasn't going to get home in time to write the three articles that I had listed in my diary for that day and so, with an almost audible sigh of relief, I decided to leave them for another day and enjoy the company of good people.

Several hours later I was at another cafe with more good people talking about my plans to resign from my job and discovering new sources of inspiration and support for my plans. Having already abandoned my good intentions to work that day I also abandoned my two month ban on sugar and indulged in a slice of carrot cake. Every mouthful was a treat.

When finally I caught the bus home I realised I only had a few hours before we had more friends coming over for dinner. So instead of trying to clean the house or squeeze in a little work I continued in the wonderful vein of pure pleasure that I had tapped and I ran myself a bath. While in the bath I talked on the phone to my four year old nephew and to my mother while I watched a lone kite surfer skipping over the waves in Lyall Bay by the light of his powerful headlamp.

By the time our guests arrived I was entirely relaxed and filled with goodwill. I'm sure that they appreciated that more than they would have a spotless toilet.

Yesterday I also gave the morning over to a long, indulgent brunch. This time I hosted it at my house, although I allowed my boyfriend both to cook and to do the dishes. Sound terribly lazy? Perhaps, but I was occupied in the other room, dancing to dub music with our one year old guest. Surely I can be excused.

Once our guests left we both contemplated throwing ourselves into the garden in a frenzy of hard work, but instead we eased ourselves through the afternoon. There was a little gardening on the agenda, but it happened slowly and gently. There were several hours of slow work at the kitchen bench to peel a hundred plums frozen off our tree in mid-summer and defrosted yesterday for a mid-winter plum crumble. Another hour was spent stripping the stalks out of the italian black cabbage we had harvested that afternoon and plucking – one by one – parsley leaves from the huge bunches we brought in from the garden.

Slow harvesting and slow processing eased slowly into slow cooking and soon we had spent the entire afternoon preparing a delicious three course vegan meal from our own garden. As we sat down to eat, with a glass of Central Otago pinot noir, we looked at each other with huge smiles on our faces.

Simple gratitude and satisfaction with a job done well suffused our dining.
I realised how much I had missed these simple pleasures and, once again, smiled at the thought of how much extra time I have bought myself with the decision to leave my 40 hour per week "part time job" behind.

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11 Responses to "Simple pleasures"

  1. tiny noises says:

    hello blooming flower! i haven’t checkin in on your blog for a few weeks and am so happy to hear about your new adventure. it is brave. and bold. and it must feel so right to let go of your ‘job’ so that you can continue to focus on the work you have been moving towards.
    i am inspired this week to follow your lead–we are going on a much awaited 6 day camping trip with friends and i can’t wait to relax into the act of leisure.

  2. this all sounds so gloriously ‘in the moment’ and filled with grace and ease…
    perfect

  3. Andi says:

    Awww, I’m so glad you posted this! I have been sick the last couple of days and all of this lying around (ie: healing) has been driving me crazy. But, after reading your story I realize that we all just need to forget our routines from time to time and enjoy straying from the plans, because it’s usually exactly what we need!

  4. Andi says:

    PS I’m so jealous you have a garden in which you can make vegan dinners from! My vegan dinners are usually made in the microwave. Haha! 🙂

  5. claire says:

    Both days sounds lovely.
    How were your “plums frozen off our tree in mid-summer”? Was that something you had done or freak weather you experienced? (Not a simple written swap of seasons as I think you’re in the Southern hemisphere.)

  6. sassy says:

    I love lazy brinches and Sundays… oh, and a man that cooks? Keep him!

  7. Helen says:

    Bravo! Sounds great! 🙂

  8. Delia says:

    Just reading this post made me breathe a little bit easier today…thank you for it, sweet one.
    Love to you,
    Delia

  9. Yvonne says:

    Hi,
    I love days such as these and I love swaying from routine sometimes.
    I never used to allow myself this luxury and then realised that life is too short to be beating yourself up so instead of doing it with a whip we have to break out the feather….
    If you want, you might like to check out my 2 blogs http://safespacecoaching.blogspot.com & http://quote-ching.blogspot.com

  10. Alex says:

    I had a smile on my face through the entire post! How soft and how poetic! I can tell you are in your element and glowing… I can see your shining beautiful heart all the way here…. And I’m so happy for you! Send hugs to Lucas for me. xo

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