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Finding Time for Simple Pleasures
Here is the first part of my story.
Finding time has got to be one of the biggest obstacles across the globe as people from all over rush around and hurriedly race through time.
I often find myself in the battle between stopping what I'm doing and not accomplishing my goals, or giving up so I can take a taste of a simple reminder of times past when the world raced at a slower pace.
Simple pleasures in life.
How to plan for fun.
When I was a kid, fun was my middle name.
I was always busy whether it was racing through my neighborhood on my 10-speed Schwinn, playing hopscotch with hand-drawn chalk squares on my grandmother's front sidewalk, and swimming at my aunt's house with her four children.
Reality hit me one day when I became an adult. Fun was no longer a priority in life. It had now become a luxury.
Between working to pay bills, sleeping to rest enough to start again the next day, keeping house, and everything else life throws in your path, it was soon obvious fun had moved on like the friends in my high school circle.
Of course there are days when we all want to take what's now known as a "mental health day".
Tips for planning ahead.
It's possible to plan ahead for fun.
Consider the full-time employee who shops at a grocery store once a weekday at night. They must be fatigued and exhausted, but still have to do it all over again the next day.
- Make a list of what you want to do. Whether it's a hike in the woods, a bicycle ride to the coast (if applicable), a trip to a park where you can sit and read under a shade tree, or baking cookies with your children.
- Make a list of what you'll need. Think about what it will take to accomplish your mini date with fun besides time. Will you need supplies? Will you need ingredients for a favorite recipe? Will you need a chain for that bike you want to take with you to the beach? Do you need a new good book to read under the shade of a tree at a park? Will you need a box of gummy bears for your favorite movie?
Next time you are at the store, be sure to bring your list with you. First step is knowing what you'll need and plan ahead for it. That way when the moment comes to enjoy your time for fun, you'll have all of the right tools to make it happen instead of worrying about what you forgot!
What fun do you make time for?
Obviously I'm being hypothetical.
Obviously everyone has a different idea of fun.
Baking cookies is one of my favorite ways of having time off for fun. The point is though to keep it simple. Whatever you feel like doing, make sure it's not overcomplicated to the point where you get frustrated and give up. Make it so that you actually can accomplish the fun you have in mind like the workload you produce at work every day. You have to get your work done. Keep that in mind when trying to set aside time for fun. Imagine if you had to have fun!
Be true to yourself and know that if you can't make Aunt Joan's sugar cookies because there are too many steps and the baking technique was never properly taught to you, then maybe those cookies are best at Christmas time when you have a vacation day.
The fun I'm talking about comes in all packages. Small to large. It doesn't really matter. It's all about how much fun you can fit in the time you have.
Plan ahead for the Ingredients you'll need to accomplish your fun!
When I bake cookies at Christmas, it's not really a whole lot of fun after a while. I make so many cookies it becomes routine.
That's the point of what I'm trying to say. If you really want to have fun on a whim, it's got to come without a hitch.
If you spend too much on a credit card to do it, you'll regret it later. That's not fun.
If you plan a vacation and it causes stress at work to try to fit in everything for the week ahead when you already have an over-booked schedule, that's not fun either.
The fun I'm talking about is when you wake up on a Saturday morning and the first stray sun ray is peeking around your curtain like it's calling your name. The sun wants you to come out in play. So you leave it all behind, how it is, and go outside. You take a walk, clear your mind, grab a coffee and a fattening donut that you would otherwise disallow yourself to enjoy. That's my kind of fun! The fun that's not expected or planned. It just happens!
The other day I wanted to bake some cookies. It's been a long time since my marathon Christmas baking so I made sure to add the ingredients on my list when I went to the supermarket. Of course I set the items aside until I planned the time to make them. If I had just left the timing to chance, the ingredients would probably still be sitting on my kitchen counter!
Semi-homemade sugar cookies
1/2 stick butter, softened (10 seconds or less in a microwave)
2 Tablespoons water
Bag of Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix
Assorted mini candies
Pre-heated oven to 375 degrees
Batter, mixed to a dough like consistency.
Mix all ingredients thoroughly. The cookie mix, softened butter, and water until soft dough forms.
Drop on to ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten.
For an extra sweet bite, place your favorite mini candies on top.
Bake 10-13 minutes, depending on your oven.
I always place a piece of parchment paper on the cookie sheet. I find that I get a better result, and the bottom of the cookies is an even brown.
This wasn't really about a cookie recipe.
While tempting, and sweet, this article wasn't really about baking cookies. As a bonus, I did add in a little something to please your appetite for sweetness.
But, the real meaning behind the story herein is the idea that we can make time for simple pleasures when the hustle and bustle of a busy lifestyle takes away our time for fun.
I try to prioritize my day by making a calendar and figuring out what I need to do to get all of my goals accomplished for each day.
Most days I fail. There is always something I didn't get to. It never used to be like that for me.
Of course, before, I didn't have a family and others to feed, dress, and tend to. It was only me.
When you have others in your life that you care for, fun times become elusive because work gets in the way.
Next, let's talk about the art of making time.
The art of making time.
Does your child often ask you to play dolls or watch cartoons? Doesn't it serve as a reminder to stop and smell the roses?
As a parent, we often fall short of being 100% to everyone at all times. We are only one person.
As much as we would love to be able to do everything all the time in perfect harmony with well-balance to our physical, emotional and mental health, it rarely works out that way.
Some will say, "well hey there wait a minute, I do all that and more!" Ah ha, I didn't say it wasn't possible! I said it rarely works out that way.
Making time has become an art in this time of faster cars, internet, and 24-hour mentality.
I'm guilty of the 24-hour mentality myself. Always planning to find the store that's open the latest to grocery shop at so I don't have to do it in the middle of the afternoon crowds. Technically, I support the 24-hour mentality even though it doesn't support us.
After a while, all the running around takes a toll on us. That's why it's important and necessary to make time for ourselves without becoming burnt out on life!
I prefer the middle soft and squishy like this rolo topped sugar cookie.
The heart of the matter.
The one thing in this world that I try to avoid at all costs is regret.
Again, I have shortcomings. There are a lot of things daily that I regret.
The biggest on my list are not making time. I have a choice.
It's what's in the heart that matters.