Monday, January 3, 2011

Relish Small Pleasures


Brand new year, brand new me! Year after year, I fall into that trap. I’m going to exercise, eat right, balance work and play, not overbook, not spread myself too thin. I’m going to really get serious about promotion, do it right, say exactly the perfect little thing on Facebook, answer all my fan mail promptly, be rigorous about sending thank you notes. I’m going to make a writing schedule and keep it. I’m not going procrastinate and end up writing seven days a week, fourteen hours a day to meet deadline.

Then, of course, real life happens and I get sick or somebody has an emergency or a party or a sob story. What will it hurt to fall off schedule just a teensy bit? Today, forget about resolutions and goals. There’s always tomorrow.

Not this year. In 2011 there will be no guilt-ridden backsliding for me. I’m not making rules and charts and maps for my life. I’m going to do the Zen thing and simply be. Like Winnie the Pooh, I’m going to happily ho-hum every day and relish small pleasures. Is there a cardinal swinging on the lady banks rose outside my window? Even if I’m in the middle of chapter six, I’m going to make a glass of iced tea then sit quietly on the front porch swing to see if he will fly underneath the porch, straight toward me. It has happened. And it’s a glorious sight. He appears to aim directly for my face, as if he’s trying to figure out what manner of large, drab creature is sitting there without singing. Then at the last minute, he swoops toward the right and I swear I can hear the whisper of wings past my cheek. Glorious!

Or is the sun calling my name? Is there a sale on roses where I might find the perfect yellow rose to plant outside my office window so I can enjoy a splash of joy all summer?

Have daffodils and tulips and forsythia and azaleas covered the landscape overnight, and are they simply crying out to be clipped and arranged in vases all over the house?

Is there a new jazz gospel piano arrangement I’ve been drying to learn? Leaning on the Everlasting Arms, played with those rip-your-heart-out blues riffs that set my feet to tapping and give me the absolute assurance that words and music both have the power to transform, and that, for me, they are interchangeable?

These are some of the many small pleasures I will relish in 2011. What are yours?

Peggy Webb is the author of the Southern Cousins Mystery Series starring Elvis, the basset hound who thinks he’s the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll reincarnated. Visit her at and on FACEBOOK. Elvis and the Memphis Mambo Murders is in bookstores now.


Mary@GigglesandGuns said...

I've learned to take life as it comes. Other than my family the treasures are new each day.

J.S. Street said...

Your outlook for 2011 is so sunny and bright, I can almost smell the roses!

Vicki Hinze said...

Love your Zen attitude for 2011--to simply be. We get so caught up in doing that we forget the majesty in just being. I hope it's a wonderful 2011, Peggy--and that you experience the sweep of air on your cheek!


Peggy Webb said...

Mary, family is definitely one of the treasures.

Thanks, J. S. and Vicki! Happy New Year!

Anna Michaels said...

One of my greatest small pleasures is hearing the sound of a friend's voice, especially when I'm blue. Talking to someone you love, touching them, being near them, is still the most satisfying way to communicate.

Peggy Webb said...

Exactly, Anna! FACEBOOK has it's place, but it can never take the place of true social interaction.

Molly Swoboda said...

Shucks! Just about the time I swear off my chill pills and decide to stick my unvarnished nose into anything and everything that catches my attention, y'all go off to be calm and present-minded. I fear I'll never catch on! Write well, everyone.
Your Syncopated Friend

Ann Hite said...

Hi Peggy: I bought a sign two days before Christmas to go in my writing room. It says: Simplify, Live Simply, Live Well. My first novel will be published in Sept, and while I'm living my dream, I also feel pulled in too many directions. Your post reaffirmed my goal of keeping like simple. Thanks.