Friday, September 24, 2010

Small Pleasures, Needed Treasures

I just finished a slice of freshly baked banana bread. I'm happy to say that it was a particularly good slice, not suffering from dryness like some breads I have baked. I love banana bread because it uses up the over-riped bananas (which I will not eat in that state but I feel guilty to throw away because I didn't get to them when they were good); I also love it for its taste. It's a small pleasure in life.

I've been thinking about small pleasures lately. Last weekend I took some time to reread a series I like (because a new book had come out--Artemis Fowl, for the curious). I read a lot of children's fantasy books. Some people find this strange. After all, I'm a 41 year old Ph.D. with no children. However, I find that children's books (and young adult fiction, at least before the Twilight books made the YA section unreadable with goth clones) are more imaginative and interesting than many of the SciFi and Fantasy books aimed at adults. Artemis Fowl is a fun read, with an interesting take on heroes, villains, and the fairy world. Sure, it may rely a bit on fart humor occasionally, betraying its target audience, but I enjoy the books.

I hadn't been reading much for fun lately. I had quit reading for fun during the last stages of my Ph.D. because it was too distracting (I tend to get caught up in reading and be unable to stop until I finish the book, forgoing chores, tasks, and cooking dinner to read). Afterwards, I guess I was both too busy and too busy feeling guilty about not writing (how can I read a book if I don't have time to write my novel?).

It felt really good to get out a book and spend an afternoon reading something just for enjoyment. I think we all need to indulge from time to time, in moderation at least, in our favorite pastimes, whether that is reading, biking, chocolate, or whatever.

I am going to treasure my time to read, to eat the occasional banana bread slice or dark chocolate piece, and to NOT work, organize, worry, and fret. These small pleasures are the needed treasures to make life worth living.

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