In recent days, I have been thinking about the little pleasures in life. When we all are overwhelmed with momentous situations such as navigating the global pandemic or just day to day stresses of life, it is easy to forget how little things and little routines can be a source of not only much needed calm but also an uplifting of spirits. The little pleasures in life.
I hope you don’t mind if I share just a few of the seemingly little things that give me outsized pleasures. Not surprisingly for me running figures in a couple of these pleasures.
Every Saturday morning at 8 am ET, an email hits my inbox from Jen Miller who is a writer and a runner and writes a running blog for NY Times. It’s a simple short blog – her personal experiences with running as well as her commentary on running – but I eagerly await it and almost always read it as soon as it arrives. It gives me immense joy and this little predictable routine seems to be a perfect start of the weekend.
Then there are the evening walks – especially since the pandemic lockdown – with my daughter and son around my neighborhood that are so special. My son often takes us through his imaginary world in minute details where Marvel superheroes are doing entirely new and amazing things that no movies have depicted yet. Even more special is just listening to the two of them comparing their school experiences or various vacation and India trip experiences, or books they both read and like. On one recent walk, they discussed the book Sapiens from Yuval Noah Harari – a terrific read about the history of Homo sapiens. I wouldn’t want to trade these walks for anything else in the world.
Then there is our neighbor’s tiny Yorkshire terrier dog named Toto, who is out for a morning walk invariably at the same time as my run. Toto barks at me with full force every single time I pass him. I chuckle every time thinking that Toto must think how successfully he chased me away as I ran past.
Then there is the Emerging Technology Ventures class at University of Pennsylvania that I co-teach. Preparing for this class compels me to stay current and immersed in the world of emerging technologies and that process is filled with the joys of discovery and learning of new advances in technology. The Fall 2020 semester being fully virtual, one student attended the class from Tanzania at 1 AM, one student from India, and two students from China attended roughly at 6 AM – even when they had the option to watch the recorded lecture. Such dedication and engagement of the next generation of leaders and innovators is awe-inspiring.
Food, besides being a sustenance, is also a source of pleasure for us all. For me, to my own surprise, a humble hot oatmeal with peanut butter is that one very special treat and a joy most mornings.
I am thankful for big things in life – family, friends, health, a profession I enjoy etc. – but I am also very thankful for the little pleasures that running, work, and life in general brings to me.
I encourage you to take a moment to think about your own little pleasures that running, work, or life in general brings to you and savor them.
Happy running and happy living!