Friday, September 28, 2012

Savor Life's Joys

I feel like I covered this in four part harmony already, expressing gratitude and savoring joy aren't two sides of the same coin?

Deep happiness cannot exist without slowing down to enjoy the joy. It’s easy in a world of wild stimuli and omnipresent movement to forget to embrace life’s enjoyable experiences. When we neglect to appreciate, we rob the moment of its magic. It’s the simple things in life that can be the most rewarding if we remember to fully experience them.

Well anyway, I'm good at savoring. I get savoring. Says the girl who's written 542 posts on the same thirteen articles of clothing and eight meals that I've cycled through for the past three years.

Savoring is, what? Enjoying something, yes, if you're not enjoying anything, that might be a sign of depression and I gently hug you. Fully enjoying something, though, I think is what's implied. And further implied, I think, is fully enjoying fewer things rather than skimming over enjoying lots of things with the assumption that you can't fully enjoy lots of things because there's only so much time that you're awake.

So yeah, I'm a slow down and savor kind of gal. But I think that I've made my life into a particular project that makes me think of this quote from Michael Chabon's The Mysteries of Pittsburgh:

Something stood between me and Phlox—perhaps it was myself—which made loving her a perpetual effort; she was a massive collection of small, ardent details that I struggled always to keep in mind, in a certain order, repeating the Phlox List over and over to myself, because if I forgot one particular of her smile or speech, the whole thing came to pieces. Perhaps I did not love Phlox, after all—I just knew her by heart. I had memorized my girlfriend.
I might be trying to memorize my life, which this blog is part of, and in which case, it's easier to remember fewer things that can be organized into sets of things. Which means I am more successful at it. Which gives me a sense of calm, if not happiness. But I take that back, it does give me a sense of happiness. I think I wrote earlier about not conflating success with happiness, but now I think that success and happiness do communicate at the very far end of the spectrum where the particles of success and happiness are very small.

And of course the other thing about enjoying fewer things and simpler things is, it's cheaper. So if you think of money as an expression of work, it's less work to enjoy fewer and simpler things.

What if you enjoy work, though? What if you like variety and complexity? What if you love finding that thing that you forgot you had at the back of your closet?

See, I think it's a far leap between saying that slowing down and savoring the simple things works for me and saying that it's for everybody. Everybody works at different speeds, I feel like every body almost literally has its own timer built in. It can't be that just the slow bodies are happy, I should think that the slow bodies are happy going slow and the fast bodies are happy going fast.

So yes, but not necessarily, if you ask me.