Sometimes we get too caught up in things that aren’t important. But it’s the simple pleasures in life that really bring us happiness.
The simple pleasures in life are often overlooked and definitely underestimated. Oh, to be young again, for me that means like 20, but if you are any older than 5, then things might be getting a little stale. Once you hit high school, everything seems like “been there, done that.”
When my children were young, I used to marvel at how they could watch the same kids’ cartoon episode and be surprised by the ending over and over. If you are feeling the mundaneness of life, then you might be missing the best parts.
Life isn’t the grand sum of what we do or who we become. It is all about the simple pleasures in life where happiness is found. Most of us are so concerned about finding “happiness” or meaning, that we aren’t stopping to look around at all the little fine details that define goodness or make us overjoyed at the moment.
31 small and simple pleasures in life most of us overlook
That is all that life really is, a series of moments that stretch together. If you stop trying so hard to get to the end game, you might just find that you can enjoy the ride to get there.
The things that we used to find so much pleasure in seem so immature, silly, and like a waste of time. But, the simple pleasures in life are about remembering what it was like when everything was new, to be explored, no fear, and reckless abandonment of the heart and soul.
If you haven’t been doing these things, then you are most certainly missing out on the simple pleasures in life. These are the best ways to find the inner child and pure bliss just upon opening your eyes in the morning.
So here are some simple pleasures in life.
#1 Catch fireflies. I forgot how much fun summer was, running from one end of the backyard to the next trying to catch fireflies. Just for the hell of it, get a jar and collect some fireflies to sit by your dining table in the backyard. Just don’t forget to put a hole in the lid top!
#2 Jump in puddles. When you see the rain coming, instead of looking for an umbrella, hit the outdoors and run around in the water. Find the biggest puddles and jump in every one of them. You would be surprised how much fun being in the rain can be when no one is telling you, “at-at-ah.”
#3 Do the monkey bars. If you can still pull it off, try your hand at the monkey bars. Not as easy as it used to be, there is still a silly accomplishment to making it to the end of them, hands burning and all.
#4 Swing like super hard… then jump off. Swing as high as you can, like to the point where you think the swing stands are going to come right out of the ground, and just when you are at the top… jump high into the air. If you can convince someone to do an underdog for you, even better. But, don’t try this simple pleasure of life if you’re drunk because it could end in disaster for everyone.
#5 Jump in a cold lake right when the weather gets warm. The first day of summer at the lake was the best time ever when we were little. When the weather got above 65 degrees outside, the lake water was still well below that, but we didn’t care. That first plunge is like taking in air for the first time. A total shock to the system, it is one of the simple pleasures in life that isn’t ever to be forgotten.
#6 Ride the waves. There is something completely and utterly freeing about riding the waves. Whether it is at a water park in a wave pool or the real thing, hop in and let the waves take you away. Being reckless, and the sensation of not having to always be in control, is one of the best simple pleasures in life.
#7 Take a road trip… to nowhere special. Take a road trip to nowhere. Just you out on the open road, put the top down, and let your hair flap in the breeze. There’s nothing more freeing. And for additional fun, let someone else drive and stand up to enjoy the ride along an old country road. Where you end up is anyone’s guess, which only makes the experience that much more amazing.
#8 Visit an old friend. Remember that friend who always cheered you up and made you feel like your second-grade self? Stop face timing or emailing them and get in the car to go visit. Have an entire weekend of doing nothing special, while at the same time, everything you do together is special. It makes memories for a lifetime.
#9 Go for ice cream. Forget the calorie count and go for ice cream. In fact, have a double scoop or a banana split before you finish your dinner.
#10 Light a sparkler and twirl it around. Wait until it’s dark and twirl a sparkler around. The light is mesmerizing and will most assuredly return you to your grammar school days on a hot 4th of July summer night.
#11 Run recklessly at full speed. Remember when you used to run, just to run, not for exercising purposes? That type of running where it is full speed ahead, arms flailing around, and nowhere to go or get to, is the best type of running there is.
#12 Catch a snowflake on your tongue. Okay, maybe not during the summer, but still, it’s one of those awesome simple pleasures of life. The first snowflake of the season is something to look forward to.
#13 Get a Slurpee. Go to Dairy Queen for a Blizzard, or 7-Eleven for a Slurpee. Once you get there, make sure to mix up all the flavors… one is just boring.
#14 Skinny dip. Nothing is more life-affirming than skinny dipping. Wait until well after dusk and take a dip without anything but your birthday suit on.
#15 Ride a roller coaster. Not just like one roller coaster, like all of them. Make a promise to yourself to make it across the carnival or the amusement park going from the most infantile to the scariest ride that makes your stomach fall out.
#16 Blow on a dandelion seed. Go ahead, and if you plant a dandelion garden, oh well….
#17 Hang your sheets outside to dry. Another one of the simple pleasures in life is laying your head down at night on sheets that have dried in the fresh breeze of the outdoors. Like communing with nature, you get the luxury of your bed with the smell of fresh grass.
#18 Plant flowers. Make your world more beautiful with some potted plants. Always leave things better than when you found them, and you will always find the simple pleasures in life.
#19 Have a second piece of pizza. If something tastes super yummy, go ahead and have another helping. Have a night of gluttony, what a pleasure to not be guided by a scale for just one night of your life.
#20 Play hooky for no reason at all. Work can get super old. If you know that your responsibilities can be covered for the day, then do something else. Whether it is staying in your pajamas or hitting the blockbuster, just for no reason at all, be a little bad.
#21 Run through the sprinkler. The pleasure and the pain are what a sprinkler is all about.
#22 Laugh out loud, like seriously laugh out loud. Forget about the LOL and literally let yourself belly laugh. Go ahead, don’t hold it in, get in that rolling laugh where tears start to fall.
#23 Go fishing. How many years has it been since you went fishing? Bait the hook and reel it out!
#24 Pitch a tent. No mobile devices or wi-fi what? Imagine sitting around the campfire actually talking with the people you are with, instead of staring at your phone.
#25 Spit watermelon seeds. Buy one of those old-fashioned kind of watermelons, yes, they actually used to come with seeds, and eat squares while spitting the seeds. It might seem archaic, but it was the way we all used to do it.
#26 Crack a cold beer on a hot day. Just because you can.
#27 Watch the sunrise. There is nothing as miraculous as watching the sunrise. Perhaps it is the accomplishment of making it all night, or just that there is something life-affirming about it. Go for a hike, sit on the beach, or just watch the sunrise from your backyard. It is truly one of the simple pleasures in life.
#28 Stay in bed as long as you want on Saturday. When you are an adult, sometimes laying in bed for no reason at all feels oh-so-bad, but in oh-so-good kind of a way. Let your kids fend for themselves just once, and stay in bed for as long as you want.
#29 Put your work away and play with your kids. If I had a dime for every time I said, “just give me a minute” or “I will be right back,” I wouldn’t have to work anymore. One of the simplest pleasures in life is to watch your children happy and smiling. All it takes is fifteen minutes to make their week. Give them the uninterrupted you; they crave so much.
#30 Have someone else clean your house. Sure, it is an expense you might not want to pay for, but nothing is more awesome than coming home to a clean house that you didn’t have to spend all day cleaning. One of the great simple pleasures in life… it is soooo worth the cost!
#31 Pay it forward. Sometimes the simplest pleasure in life is making someone else’s day. Pay it forward in a small way to find peace and happiness.
Sometimes we get so caught up looking for happiness that we fail to see it when we hold it in our hands. If you want to find pleasure in life, it is the small moments that mean the most, and we hold onto forever.
Take the time find the simple pleasures in life, to smell the roses, behave like a child again, and try a little reckless abandonment to find the inner fun that is lurking beneath the surface.