My World of Simple Pleasures
I was born 42 years after my mother, during a time of innovation, progress and the Beatles. And although the most important ingredients necessary to be a good mother and grandmother – love, discipline, patience, faith and a sense of humor – remain the same, there are many reasons I’m glad that I got to be a mom and a sitie in this day and age instead of the ’60s. There are inventions, newfangled ideas and discoveries that streamline my life in ways my mother would have never envisioned.
Sure, she lived in astonishing times. Advances like cars, television, Teflon pans and supermarkets made parenting easier for her than for her own mother. I’m certain my mom marveled at her laundry chute, coal delivery, the five-string clothesline in our backyard and Tupperware.
But if she were alive today, she’d be amazed at the many services, short cuts and accommodations we have at our fingertips. Think tanks all over the world are busy creating products to make our tasks easier, our homes cozier, our lives healthier and our spirits lighter. Maybe they’re not major strides in civilization like finding a cure for polio or travelling across the country by airplane. But these small, simple pleasures bring a smile to my face, a song to my ear and can reduce the wrinkles around my eyes. I stay on the lookout for them, because it’s easy to take them for granted.
Little things like dishwashers, surge strips, permanent press and smudge-proof lipstick, impact the quality of my daily life. Improvements, enhancements and technological advances like these get me through the workweek with minimal wear and tear. Not only do conveniences like these make me look better and feel better, because of them I have time to spare. I can relax, take a walk with my husband, Nick or enjoy game night instead of ironing, hanging laundry or standing in line at the post office.
In many ways its a tad easier to be a woman in the 21st century than it was in say, 1816. Here are, in no particular order, some 50 reasons why I’m happy to be living today. With any luck, by tomorrow my list of simple pleasures will expand.
Kleenex with aloe
Crock pots, crock pot cookbooks, crock pot liners
Nutrition facts labeling
Snapshot check deposit
Neighborhood yoga classes
Mobile dog groomers (thanks Natalie)
Pause, fast forward & rewind
Copy & paste
Airport cell phone parking lots
Toothpaste with flip-top caps
(Grand) Baby video monitors
TV remotes with a sleep timer button
Daily moisturizer with SPF 15
Heated driver seats
Hearing “Sweet Child of Mine” play when one of my sons, Shawn, Jake and Seth calls my cell phone. And “Pretty Woman” should Lisa or Rachel give me a ring.
Cell phone cameras
Flavored coffee creamers
Self-adhesive postage stamps you can order by mail
Words with Friends
Used paperback book stores
Relaxed fit jeans
The Weather Channel
Return address labels
Shampoo shelves in the shower
Book club readers’ guides
Extended wear contact lenses
The craziness, chaos and demands of life slow down by the end of the day. It’s then that I can sit quietly with a cup of Irish Breakfast and let my thoughts settle. That’s when it hits me — during these few quiet moments when my work is done, I once again realize what I’m most grateful for: the good health and happiness of my family. But there’s also a soft spot in my heart for that pre-grated cheddar cheese in the handy zipper-lock bag that makes taco night a breeze.