My grandson, Jordan, and I started a new tradition this summer. Every Thursday afternoon, we hang out together.

“Hanging out” is pretty literal. We just do whatever seems fun at the time. We chat, he plays his guitar, sometimes we play basketball (yes, funny sight for those who know me and my lack of athleticism!), or play checkers (where he takes no mercy on me!).

Part of the hanging out process usually includes a trip to the ice cream store for a marshmallow shake, Jordan’s favorite flavor.

Whoever thought of a marshmallow shake? I remember in the good old days when the choices were simple: vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry.

But marshmallow makes Jordan happy and that’s all that matters to me.

Thinking about marshmallow shakes reminds me to reflect a bit on some of the other simple pleasures that exhilarate me:

  • My first cup of hot tea in the morning
  • Sharing a home-cooked meal with my family
  • Giving my husband a back rub while we watch TV (yes, he’s lucky!)
  • Chomping on my perfect salad
  • My last good stretch as I finish up my workout
  • Spending the afternoon in my favorite chair with a good book
  • Sitting on the deck smelling wafts of the jasmine bush in bloom
  • Beating Jordan in checkers (only half kidding here!)
  • Seeing our dog’s cute little face when I walk in the door 
  • Enjoying a hot shower right before jumping into bed
  • Waking up after a good night’s sleep

When was the last time you thought about the seemingly ordinary things in your day that make you happy? It’s the simple things that bring us true joy, those things that really don’t cost anything (or not much).

Paying attention and being mindful of the good things in your life can help to ease the stress and frustration you face on a daily basis. Happiness isn’t something you can search for or force. It’s more like something you find, a choice you make in any given moment.

Sometimes we’re so busy focusing on what’s missing, we forget to appreciate what we already have.

Stop right now and spend a few moments savoring your own simple pleasures. Try to jot down a list of your top 10. Then pull it out whenever you feel like you need a lift.

This Journey to Palm Canyon can be slow going at times. Taking the time to be grateful for each step reminds us that it’s not about the destination . . . it’s all about the journey.

Share some of your simple pleasures in the comments section!