It's the Little Things
April 16, 2014
It really feels as if summer is well on the way. Five days of sunshine have made the mornings brighter, the evenings longer and saw me hunting out the gazebo which has been packed away since last October. (It is always a sad day for me when the canvas comes down and is consigned to the loft for six months). Lovely Husband has promised that it will be up and ready for me to relax in on Good Friday and I can’t wait.
Sometimes it really can be the little things that mean a lot. For me sitting on a gently swaying swing seat with a purring puss-cat beside me and a good book or a meaty writing project to occupy me is a wonderful way of spending my “free time” after eight hours in the “day job”.
The final part of the pleasure is a very small thing indeed but makes me feel very decadent. I love diet cola in the curved glass bottles. I don’t drink a great deal of the fizzy stuff and in winter I buy it in cans - but in the summer it absolutely has to be in the glass bottles.
It costs a little more than buying the plastic bottles but for me the glass bottle just makes it special. I think the reason for this is I remember summer family holidays when we used to go to the clubhouse at the end of a day on the beach. Mum would have a shandy, Dad would have a pint of lager, and Twin and I were allowed a bottle of coke with a straw. Mum usually frowned on drinking out of bottles or cans but was much more relaxed about it when we were in caravan mode. To Twin and me it felt very grown up and ever since then I’ve always thought that cola tastes so much better out of the glass bottle.
I’m not the only one who has a “little thing” which “means a lot”. LH seems to enjoy a sandwich much more when it is cut “on the diagonal” rather than just straight across the middle. Again, this stems from his childhood when his daily school lunch box contained “folded in half” sandwiches but whenever he was treated to a “bought sandwich” they were always cut diagonally (they would usually come with a small salad accompaniment – but LH doesn’t seem to think there is anything special in lettuce, tomato and cress).
One of my closest friends abstains from alcohol. Her “tipple of choice” is lime and soda water… but if it comes in a tall glass with ice, a slice of lemon and, most importantly, a cocktail stirrer she feels like it’s a really indulgent drink. She sips it slowly and really enjoys it. It isn’t just what is in the glass; it’s the whole “scenario”. And sometimes it isn’t “what” but “how” that is important.
Sometimes it can be hard to muster enthusiasm for the weight loss journey. A plate of steamed white fish and vegetables can sometimes be exactly what you want to eat, but other times it is something you are choosing to eat to help with weight loss rather than because it really does tickle your taste buds. It happens to me and I’ve learned that if I make a conscious effort to “make it special” it can really change my mood and attitude.
I serve it on a lovely china plate. I take time with the presentation so that it looks like it created by a master chef from a fine dining establishment, I use my rock salt cellar and my big wooden pepper grinder (instead of the plastic everyday cruet set) and I make the meal feel like an experience. It might sound bonkers but what goes on in your head can make a real difference.
If I’m feeling hard-done by and deprived then I sulk as I eat. I chew and swallow but spend the whole time resenting the fact that I’m eating something for the sake of my waistline.
However when I feel like something is “special”, that I’m worth the time and trouble and effort of a little bit of decadence …. My mood lifts, I take pleasure from whatever it is I’m eating or drinking, and instead of it being just “a meal”, it turns into quality time that I can savour and enjoy.
I’m really looking forward to the forthcoming Easter break. It is four days away from the day job. The weather forecast predicts blue skies and sunshine and although LH and I haven’t made any specific plans we are determined to enjoy ourselves. I am contemplating the first barbecue of 2014; lean steak, some delicious baby new potatoes, a crisp green salad, and the all-important glass bottle of diet cola. It is a really simple meal… and a simple pleasure, but to enjoy it sitting in my gazebo, listening to the sounds of spring, spending time with LH and knowing that I am being weight-loss compliant without feeling deprived… what more could I ask for?
So whatever you have planned in the next few days, why not take some time to think about how you can move the “everyday” and “ordinary” into something which feels “extravagant” and “extra-ordinary” .It doesn’t need to cost a lot; it doesn’t need to be complicated. It just needs to be something that makes you think “this is a real pleasure”
Whether it is a treat in the form of something you eat and drink or a bath that is a little longer, a little deeper and with just a few more bubbles…There are lots of possibilities (and you know what a fan I am of possibilities…).
Here’s to a great day full of little things which mean a lot…
With a Hug
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