Personal note:

I went to the lake yesterday. The same lake I went to as a child.  The same sun-sparkled lake I dreamed about for years, while living in another state where summers were foggy and cool , and gray sand beaches were pummeled by huge waves that could knock you off your feet if you even went wading.

But the first time I went back to that lake was yesterday. Decades had passed before I moved back to my home city, and ten more years had passed before I actually went back to that lake.

Why did I take so long?   That’s the theme of today’s article.

Recapture Delight In Your Life


What immediately comes to mind when you think of rewarding or pampering yourself?Let’s say you’ve been under a lot of pressure and you realize you must find a release.I asked a client recently what she would do if she took time to pamper herself, and she didn’t know. She hadn’t thought about it in a long time. She was too busy taking care of everyone and everything around her.In talking to overly-stressed clients over the years, I have found that, when they finally realize they can, or should, relax, the first things that come to mind are often:

  • Indulging in something, such as rich food, that’s bad for them.
  • Going shopping; only to end up buying something they don’t need or can’t afford.
  • Playing computer games.
  • Flopping down and watching TV.

More healthful alternatives, such as having a massage, may come to mind, but are often dismissed as “too expensive” or “take too much time.”

We forget things we did naturally when we were younger, and less preoccupied. But memories of those times can sometimes refresh our spirit as nothing else can.

Here are some things can you do in approximately one hour that aren’t costly:

Revive old feelings of pleasure

Recall some music that you find particularly uplifting or relaxing and spend an hour listening to it, without doing anything else except listen.

Dance – all by yourself, for the sheer pleasure of moving

Re-awaken old dreams

Re-read a childhood book that once inspired grand dreams or provided you with a heroic model.

Make time stand still:

Remember how, as a child, you became so absorbed in play that the outside world seemed to disappear? Here are some activities you can still do that will reclaim that sense of absorption:

  • Paint – or color in a coloring book!  You can find elaborate coloring books suitable for adults in museum gift shops.
  • Reclaim an old hobby, such as knitting or building models, that fully occupies your hands and your attention while you are doing it.
Explore:Visit your library and browse – not in the section you usually turn to.  If you usually read mysteries, try history or science – they all involve mysteries. Intrigued by romance? Visit an area of the world that’s always interested you – by finding a book in the travel section.  Then plan how and when you might actually go there.
Go to a park you haven’t visited before, or for a long time, and take a walk, being mindful and curious about everything you pass.If all of these activities sound childish, that’s exactly what they are.   They date from that period of life when we somehow knew we could create and mold our every-day world.  That reminder can inspire you to be creative in your present life.

My trip to the beach took a little over one hour. The blissful memories and sense of relaxation that it brought up lasted for two or more days.