I've written lately about easy delights. Shauna Niequist encouraged being "easily delightable" and it aptly describes the way my grandmother lived. Simple pleasures, everyday joys: the concept is not new. But the combination of words struck me - easily delightable. It's a frame of mind and a way of being in the world. It's how she lived and why she was so special, and it's something I try to live by every day.
We just returned from 5 days in Myrtle Beach, SC, at the beach home of my friend Gin Stephens, author of Delay, Don't Deny. It was almost impossible not to be delighted in such a beautiful place. It was effortless to compile a list of 100 Easy Delights - I'm sure I could have done 200.
There are so many KINDS of easy delights.
Easy Delights Are:
TEXTURAL - Frilly Spanish moss draped on trees like a feather boa. Dark green leaves on a magnolia tree so shiny, they seem to have been waxed.
COLORFUL - Flowering trees like the crepe myrtle. The shades of pink and yellow in the sky as the sun comes up.
WHIMSICAL- Choosing a special Tervis tumbler or can coozie to coordinate with your beach towel
SOOTHING - Listening to the waves crashing against the shore. The feel of clean sheets after a long day.
SILLY- Children digging holes on the beach and bringing water from the ocean one dump truck at a time. A crazy energetic spaniel who does not stop running in circles for the course of an entire long conversation by the humans.
RITUALISTIC - Coffee on the balcony in the same grass-green cup, seated on the same tall patio chair.
CONTRASTING - Icy cold air conditioning vs a hot humid afternoon. An invigorating shower to wash off the salt, sand and sweat.
ABSURD - A squirrel that seems to be glaring at us in disdain. Someone catching a shark next to a "No fishing for sharks" sign (he threw it back).
TIMELESS - Sunrises and sunsets that look like they did a day ago, a year ago, a century ago
PLEASURABLE - Spicy pimento cheese on crunchy bagel crisps. A cold, fruity daiquiri. A basket of fresh bread with real butter. The fizz of champagne. Hot, tender baked potatoes with sour cream. Carrot cake with cream cheese icing. OK, food is among the easiest of the delights!
GROUNDING - Being in a new place but having my husband right there. Knowing "home" is always right where you left it. Fasting through the bulk of the day for simplicity and clarity.
We fasted each day of the trip and knowing how excessive eating has ruined past vacations, it grounded me to have this kind of control. I'm grateful we were spending time with Gin, since she also fasts and understands its benefits.
Fasting is the friend of noticing easy delights. It tunes you in to all the abundance around you. You know what is the enemy of easy delights? Distractions. Digestive upset, brain fog, low energy, decision fatigue, feelings of failure. Fasting cured all these distractions for me. It's helped me become someone easily delightable instead of struggling and disappointed. It is my main "life hack" and coping skill, and I take it wherever I go.
Farewell, Myrtle Beach!