Follow me as I spend 2012 experiencing the simple pleasures that life has to offer. Last year I bought a book entitled ‘The Wonderful Weekend Book’ by Elspeth Thompson. Its front cover promises to help you ‘reclaim life’s simple pleasures’ and I thought “Yes! That’s what I’m missing!” so I excitedly paid for it then promptly abandoned it on a shelf in the spare bedroom. The other day I found it again.

I’m not a huge believer in fate, or destiny (although I’m not a disbeliever either) but the book really got me thinking. Am I missing out on the simpler aspects of life? The ones that remind you of what’s important and make you feel…well, alive? I’m in my thirties, married, own my own home, (well, a corner of it; the bank has its claws in the rest). No children at this stage, although not for lack of trying. Sadly we’ve had three miscarriages in the last 18 months. But that’s a whole other story; and one I might share more of at later dates.

Last year two friends in their 30’s were diagnosed with Cancer. One is now in remission (thank god) – the other died aged 32. It really got me thinking about life and how much of it I am yet to experience. I mean, I know we all hear those phrases tossed around; ‘Live every moment as if it’s your last’ etc, but how many of us really stop and think about them?

On the whole I’m happy…enough. But is enough…Enough? I could be happier that’s for sure. Like so many of you, I’m afraid I spend more time working than I do anything else. And that thought scares the crap out of me. I don’t want to waste my life working! Come the weekends I spend most of Saturday cleaning the house and doing all the washing I let pile up during the week. Sunday I pretty much spend in front of the TV, catching up on programs I’ve missed. Hmm, exciting… and so time passes. Well no longer, I’ve decided. It’s time for a change.

I’ve just returned from an annual camping trip. We camp in tents by the beach and I spend a few brief happy days walking along the shore looking for washed up treasures, eating simple but delicious meals like burgers and sausages that we cook on the campfire, and drinking copious amounts of wine out of a bright pink plastic cup. I burrow my feet into the cool sand and marvel at the beautiful colours of the sunsets, and the ocean’s various moods. It’s a magical time that rejuvenates my very soul, and I come home revived and reminded of the sights/smells/tastes of nature and the feel of the sea breeze on my skin. I swear fervently that I will remember this feeling, and I will make more of an effort to enjoy life. I leave full of inspiration, arrive home, unpack, paint the kitchen a nice ocean blue and chuck a few pieces of driftwood on the windowsill, then I plonk down in front of the TV and that’s it, I forget everything that’s waiting for me outside my front door.

So for 2012 I promise this; every weekend I will choose a weekend activity from the book to do and I will tell you all about the experience of it here.  Sounds simple huh?

The book is broken down into Seasons, and I will need to make some allowances for the fact that I am from New Zealand and the author the UK and already I can tell, after a brief flick through, there are some things mentioned that I’ve never heard of! So allowing for the odd cultural difference I will try to stay as loyal to the book as I can. Because that’s another thing. The author is no longer with us. Tragically, suffering depression, Elspeth took her own life one afternoon in March 2010. Read her obituary here  I was devastated when I googled her after purchasing the book and finding out what had happened. Her blog is beautiful and to all extents and purposes she was living a charmed life in a couple of old railway carriages by the seaside. I suffered depression myself over a period of ten years (thankfully I’ve been depression free for the past eight years, non-medicated) so I can sympathise with what she was going through. So not only would I like to spend this year enjoying life’s little pleasures for myself, but as a tribute to Elspeth and the life she tried to live as well. She was an inspiration to many. Rest in peace Elspeth.

13 responses »

  1. Hi Tammy, I think your year of wonderful weekends is a fabulous idea, I’m feeling much the same way at the moment. Sounds like an interesting book to get a hold of. I enjoy memories of simple pleasures the most rewarding as they give me the sense and feeling of home. Past tense and now. Funny that she lived in old railway carriages as I did growing up (only up into the hills)! Never known anyone else who has.

    • Thanks Rebecca! I see you’re from Australia – whereabouts?
      I’ve ony been doing this Wonderful Weekends project for a few weeks now but I already feel a change. I used to look forward to my weekends obviously, but now I really look forward to them and the little things I have planned. And at the end of the weekend I have a feeling of satisfaction, whereas before I used to feel slightly guilty at wasting another weekend doing the same old stuff (TV, cleaning the house etc).
      If you can get hold of the book you should, there are some really great, inexpensive, simple ideas in there. I’ve had some great ones from people too if you look at my ideas page.
      Thanks for the comment 🙂

      • I’m currently in outer Melbourne, near the Dandenong ranges. Have been here for nearly three years. Used to live in outer Geelong, not that far from the beach. Miss the ocean but the mountains are a nice trade for now.

  2. This sounds amazing! My heart really does smile when I hear/see someone listeing to their heart and flowing with its direction. I’m sure this year will be such an adventure, full of beautiful experiences and memories – dont stop there though, keep going!!

    I too am stepping out of my comfort zone this year to start exploring all that life has to offer and to start realising some dreams!!

    Happy 2012!!
    Bless xxx

    ps thanks fo liking my ‘Free to be me’ blog:)

  3. love it…. i am kinda doing a few things like this… i am doing a 365 a day photo and 52 weeks photo project… this is really cool.. i really like this… you have super neat blogs…i will have too look around hehehe.. have a wonderful weekend.

  4. You know – a secret – I’ve just been thinking, the last week or so , that here I am, living in this beautiful, exciting place, and I may just as well be back on the farm (or anywhere else I lived back in Oz), I’m doing the same old (no)things … It just seems like I’m having different experiences because it looks and sounds different to my other life. Yes. It’s time to make the change!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s