Small Pleasures

November is the absolutely worst month of the year in Sweden. It’s dark, cold and rainy. In order to fight depression, I try to cherish small pleasures and this weekend I have really revelled in them, involving all five senses. I went to bed Friday evening without setting the alarm, falling asleep under my thick winter duvet after reading a chapter in a clever detective story. When I woke up, I got up to get the newspaper, but went back to bed to read and fall asleep again. Waking up a second time I put my feet on the sheep skin rug and curled my toes. I put on my thick terry cotton robe and made a hearty breakfast with boiled eggs, fresh vegetables, mango juice, yoghurt and tasty raspberry muesli.

I dressed in my bright red and turquoise raincoat bought at Louisiana and my high black rubber boots and walked to the nearby folk high school Wendelsberg to look at the beautiful buildings and listen to lectures, participating in their 100 year celebration. I walked away much more knowledgeable about amusement parks through the public park, watching the last leafs falling down. Then I popped in to our local library and read some magazines sitting in one of their fancy modern chairs looking out on the lazy river. On my way home I bought some fresh flowers from the local florist and one of them was a Protea reminding me of the trip I made in 2003 to South Africa with my Mother.

In the afternoon I had a cup of spicy fair trade chai tea in the handcrafted mug I recently bought in Tällberg. You can see it in the picture on the tea tray I received recently at a workshop in Hudiksvall. Then I went to an aerobics class at Friskis&Svettis enjoying immensely moving to all kinds of music in good company. Back home I took a long warm shower, using rough Brazil nut scrub and then put on lovely-smelling chocolate lotion I bought in Öhr where my grandparents used to live. During the evening I mixed doing ironing with watching a chick flick with a happy ending (of course), before hitting the sack.

Sunday was dedicated to volleyball and I tried to do some pep talk to my arms while ecodriving to Herrljunga. I sang loudly in the car, playing favourites from the 1980ies but also some new music put together for a good cause. It was good fun meeting all friends and holding a small baby again, smelling the soft, warm skin. Back home I put my sore feet in a hot foot bath with bright white salt crystals while draping my wheat warmer on my aching shoulders, getting ready to write this blog post.

Of course I know that I am immensely fortunate having the opportunity to enjoy all these small pleasures. Every single one of them can be regarded as a luxury. I am also aware of that they are all related to what Martin Seligman calls the first level of happiness, not even close to eudaemonia or true meaning. However, when my mood is low they truly help when trying to reach the higher levels, living the “The Good Life” vision of the Västra Götaland Region.

1 comment:

steve loraine said...

Loved this description of a weekend of heightened senses and positive contacts - maybe November is not that bad in Sweden with these comforts to hand.