Saturday, March 5, 2011

Small Pleasures

I know it's a lazy way through a blog post, but friends, it's been a hectic week. I'm still recovering from my own personal economic recession, my friend's cat has diabetes, I worked almost 50 hours last week, and it's currently -22 with the windchill in El Toro. So what better time to focus on the little things? And what better format than a little blog post, filled with tiny reminders that things are not always sucky?

For instance: I've been listening to a lot of Robyn's latest album, which is a glossy, poppy and somehow strangely personal album about breakups and being alone. There are several killer tracks on this record, which isn't getting the commercial sales it totally deserves, but one of my favourites has her proclaiming about "she's still your friend," only, and I'm not sure if this is because Robyn is Swedish or because she's just like that, it comes out as "fwiend." This obviously just kills me. It's like the song is being sung by a child, or Elmer Fudd. In other words: yes.

The weather is being cold and stubbornly refuses to thaw, and everyone's getting a little stir-crazy. For me, I'm jonesing for some physical activity. For the past two months, I've been lying on my boyfriend's couch, stuffing my maw with ice cream and slowing oozing out of my pants. Now I'm just for some bike rides and after-work runs, and waiting for the spring to, um, spring. Until then, I'm trying to focus on the little pleasures.

So, here we go: tiny pleasures to make these last couple weeks of winter just a tiny bit more livable.
  • The pleasure of a deal. Last week, I trekked over to a new-to-me Salvation Army thrift store and managed to score about $500 bucks worth of clothes, including two pairs of brand-new shoes, one of which were a pair of Hush Puppy winter boots, for 33 dollars, including five cents for the bag. The thrill of new things for about 90% less than the usual price was intoxicating.
  • The pleasure of a new thing. So drunk on savings was I that I also went to Winners (their tag line is very convincing) and picked up some new hosiery. I wear skirts about 28 days of the month and brand new black tights are like getting new blank canvases: the ideal starting point for all my work outfits and weekend get-ups. Plus, they're microfiber, which = soft.
  • The pleasure of nostalgia. I have a weird soft spot for children's media: I love me some Marlo Thomas, and The Iron Giant is easily in my top ten flicks of all time. Watching The Corpse Bride this weekend was a nice treat, because it rides the line between kid's movie - (it's animated!) and oddly macabre (it's about dead people!?) Plus, I think it's inspired me to paint my room with its spooky colour scheme. It's all light blues, ghoulish day-glo greens and matte charcoals. I think it would be quite fetching, and a lovely departure from my current colour scheme (beige, and in need of a scrub).
  • The pleasure of nature. Take, for example, sunshine. Come on. Who doesn't love the sun?And one of the few upsides of having these freezing late-winter days is that the sun is less and less shy this time of year.
  • The glycemic bump of an afternoon snack.This brings pleasure in myriad ways: by 4 o'clock, I usually feel like I'm going to fall over, fall asleep or am slowly going blind. The restorative powers of, say, some yogurt and fruit, is nothing short of miraculous. Other snacks I favour include slices of deli meat and half a pepper, or apple slices dipped in peanut butter. Deliciousness comes in many forms.
  • The Little Things, in all their glories. Totally kicking a difficult spreadsheet's ass. Finding a new and exciting website that opens up a new perspective on a thorny issue. Having tomorrow's lunch ready tonight. Getting an email from a friend you haven't heard from in a while. Nutella on toast. Sliced banana in cereal. Girly movies with your girly roommates. Cuddling. Being woken up by the cat. Rediscovering old favourites (I had fresh mango for the first time in years and it totally moved me). Catching yourself staring at your girlfriend as she walks across the room, even though you've been together for four years and have seen her in every state, including actively throwing up, and realizing that she's still the one for you. Catching your boyfriend while he does that. Personal phone calls at work. Lunch with your mom. All the little bibs and bobs that make the day a lovely, if imperfect, exercise in Appreciating The Good.

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