More simple pleasures

By Caitlin Kelly

These days, who isn’t stressed?!

So here’s the latest version of my ongoing series, the one in which I look around my daily life — and maybe inspire you to do the same — to slow down, stop and really appreciate the small, simple moments that can, if we notice them, make our lives joyful.

As my very wise French friend Guillemette told me, when I was an ambitious, impatient 25 year old (OK, little has changed!) that it’s life small moments that matter most…we will, if fortunate, enjoy many more of these than those Big Life-Changing wins and triumphs.

A bowl of tangerines

Strong coffee

A pot of fragrant tea on a cold, gray, windy afternoon

A nap

Second sleep — waking up, deciding you could use a bit more of it and going back into a deep sleep until you wake up fully refreshed

A cashmere scarf, gloves and/or sweater (available through consignment shops!), so light, soft and warm

A long phone call with an old friend who knows you well

A wave or smile from a passing baby

Sending a lovely card on paper

Receiving one!

Watching “comfort” movies whose dialogue you know by heart and are happy to see for the 1000th time

Making serious progress in spin class — hitting 113 rpm (how fast one can spin) and being able to sustain 100 for more than 20 seconds. Yay!

A clear dental check-up

Fresh flowers in every room

A scented candle, bedside, to start and end every day

A book you love so much you can’t wait to dive back in

An armload of library books

My annual Public Lending Rights check, royalties for Canadian library use of my two books

Income, even a small amount, from re-selling clothes, shoes or other objects you no longer want or use

A hug, given or received

A sky full of amazing cloud formations

Getting the answers right while watching Jeopardy

The New York Times Spelling Bee



A gleamingly clean bathroom and kitchen

Tickets to a concert, show or museum exhibition

I think, if the past few years have taught us, it’s how to appreciate what’s within reach, sometimes within the same room, as we try to stay safe from COVID.

14 thoughts on “More simple pleasures

  1. I’m partial to butter rum but, any flavor you like, that’s a wide selection of life savers. Good onya for taking care of yourself, and for showing us all how you’re doing it. Don’t stop now. Okay, stop as soon as you can.

  2. Like you, I so enjoy life’s simple pleasures. I am also a fan of second sleeps, fresh flowers and a well made piece of clothing or something special for my home.

    1. I’ve got to have a nap, pretty much every day. When I wake up, all the junk that roils my mind wakes up with me, and if I don’t pump the brakes with a power nap once or twice a day, depending on circumstances, I’m on track to be a real bastard all day.

  3. The little pin that says courage is a recurring element in your blog. I have wondered about its meaning, beyond the obvious. Thanks for clearing that up for me. Now get back to work.

  4. Jan J

    Always enjoy reading your simple pleasures, Caitlin. Some of mine are sharing hilarious memories of high school with an old friend I’ve known since age 13, my fireplace in the winter, the birds in my backyard, getting (too rarely) an actual card or letter from a friend, finding drop off locations to responsibly dispose of packing styrofoam and scrap metal that accumulated in my basement, lovely Japanese textiles from eBay that I’m about to hang on my walls.

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