My list so far: a beach sunrise, the first sip of coffee, outside shower, Sarah’s cooking, putting pen to paper (actually writing, not typing) and Hall and Oates. Give up?
I’ve been giving myself homework: as often as I can, I’ve spent a little time writing about something that delights me. My faraway friend Tricia (another delight) and I are sharing a google doc, reading each other’s sketches, responding to funny bits, great lines, cool images. It’s been a favorite part of my day.
Practicing Delight is our inspiration. The poet Ross Gay spent some quality time with delight every day for a year: “One of the things that surprised me was how quickly the study of delight made delight more evident.”
I’ve also delighted in a recent podcast, Dax Shephard’s Armchair Expert; one in particular, his interview with Ben Shahar, a positive psychologist. Nuggets from Shahar’s extremely popular Harvard course follow: Happiness Lessons.
I work at a local university, and last week was the Activities Fair. Tables lined the grass; older students were recruiting younger with hand-drawn posters advertising taekwondo, chess, lacrosse, quidditch, cooking, you name it. I thought, why let the college kids have all the fun? Adults need to do this! Maybe once a year we embark upon our own metaphorical strolls around the campus quad. Join in.
We may not be the ones back at school, but we can certainly continue to learn, to give ourselves homework, and to exercise our bodies and minds. Sure, we’ve got jobs, laundry, responsibilities; there’s noise and news around us. Our default may not be set to “delight,” but perhaps with practice, we can get there.