It’s a crazy time. If you still have a job, you’re probably working insane hours and wondering when you’ll be laid off. If you’re freelance, you may have lost more than two-thirds of your income as panicked clients cancel everything non-essential. If you’re looking for a new job, you might be ready to throw in the towel. We need simple, affordable pleasures more than ever.
This month’s Elle Decoration, the UK version (decidedly different in tone and style from the American version) offers a list of 30 simple pleasures, some well worth considering. (There’s no on-line version, so I can’t offer you a link.) But they include: take time to print out your digital images and make an album, bake a cake from scratch, keep a soft blanket or throw on the sofa, lay a sheepskin rug by the bed for those soon-to-be-frosty winter mornings.
As we head into another week deep into this endless recession, here are some of my favorites that are, as best they can, keeping me sane and happy:
Steal 10 extra minutes to lie very still in bed before you rocket out and start your day. Stare out the window at something lovely.
Take a total techno-break one full day a week. Turn off everything that buzzes and beeps and demands your constant attention and response.
Before you go to sleep, light a candle and have it be the only illumination in your room. Staring at a small, flickering flame is deeply soothing.
Dig out your 10 favorite recipes, find a lovely, large blank notebook and copy them into it for a friend or relative, maybe a new college student learning to cook.
Spend an hour at your local garden nursery or greenhouse. Buy something small and green to bring home and nurture over the winter.
Take your camera and wander a local park for an hour. Capture, in the Northeast, what’s left of the spectacular beauty of the leaves.
Go to the library with no agenda. Browse the stacks slowly and see what looks good. Bring home no fewer than four books and three videos. Experiment — it’s free.
Come home, brew a full pot of Constant Comment tea in a china teapot, pour it into a china cup and sit alone to sip it slowly. Savor the smell and the delicious sound of tea splashing into china.