Friday, June 08, 2012

Discovering Delight

I'm still learning to relax.

One of the things I've noticed this week is how much joy my new pedometer brings me.  It's embarrassing. (As I noted on Facebook, I now look like a 90s-era drug dealer with a pager always clipped to my belt.) The purchase was inspired by Claire Cook's novel, The Wildwater Walking Club, about a woman who is pushed out of her job and deals with the stress by walking.  It's an inspiring, fun story, and it got me thinking: 10,000 steps a day...could I do that?  Turns out, I can! But there's no rational explanation for how much fun I'm having doing so.

I wonder if part of relaxing is a willingness to be delighted in whatever delights us, rather than trying to drum up excitement about things that are cool and trendy?  I feel like I'm supposed to be delighted by new art exhibits, important articles in the New Yorker, and (according to the seemingly endless foodie craze) balsamic vinegar.  But I'm not.  I love the New Yorker, but it rarely delights me.

My pedometer delights me.  It's inexplicable, and perhaps that's part of the fun.  So I've been looking around to see what else brings me more happiness than reason might suggest.

I'm delighted by BarePaw slippers. They feel just like Uggs but you can sometimes get them for $25 or so at Famous Footwear if it's off season and you have a coupon.  That way if you spill a full cup of coffee into your slippers when you're not wearing them, you can replace them rather than kid yourself into believing that shearling drenched in Starbucks can ever be restored.  That makes me happy!

And as you can probably tell from my approach to slippers, I'm totally delighted by bargains.  I LOVE finding a deal.  If it's especially good--the $35 dollar shirt I bought for $3, or the $65 dollar necklace I found on the Ann Taylor sale table for $11--I'm tempted to save the price tag, just to preserve a bit of the feeling I have in discovering such a find.

Not everyone shares my delight in pedometers, inexpensive slippers, and bargain shopping. They're all, truth be told, a little bit embarrassing. But they relax me, and help me feel for a moment like life is a serene pool in which I'm floating on a pretty raft (rather than a tumultuous ocean in which I'm being tossed haplessly about.) That's worth paying attention to.

If part of the relaxation equation is noticing delight, I'm happy to look like a drug dealer in cheap slippers :)


hes said...

Oh, man. How I love a good bargain! I am also no good at relaxing. I am most lost when I don't have anything to do.

Sarakastic said...

This quote made my day in so many ways "be delighted in whatever delights us". Once I got a $100 sweatshirt for $9.95. I did save the pricetag.

Wendy L. Yost said...

Thank you for this offering, Trish. I'm recalibrating my relationship to delight and while Googling related words and phrases your blog came up. "Willingness to be delighted in whatever delights us" will stay with me as I explore aspects of delight in 2018 that I previously haven't allowed my attention. So thank you!

And, as a writer and professor, I love that something you thought to write about and did in 2012 is continuing to serve people five years later!