PETIT PLAISIRS IN AN AMERICAN WORLD

Dec 6, 2010 by

In France, petits plaisirs, or small pleasures, are what make life so very worth living.  Petits plaisirs are exactly why the French do not know the meaning over over-indulgence, for they understand that by allowing yourself the petits plaisirs you desire (in moderation that is), your life will be more balanced and complete. 

Keeping with my theme of the weekend — the idea of slow living — I came up with a list of my favorite ten “feelings”.  This idea was spurred from conversation with Nicole during our Surf ‘n Santa 10-miler and has continued to churn around in my mind for two days now. 

Create your own list; doing so empowers you to enjoy these petits plaisirs even more than you already do! The more descriptive you are about exactly why you love what you love, the better!  Here’s my list thus far:

1. I love curling up in a freshly made bed (with extra fluffy pillows and sheets washed in lavander detergent) after a warm shower and a long day.

2. I love going downhill while cycling in aero position at 35+ mph and feeling completely one with the road.

3. I love being in a sports stadium, in a crowd of 90,000+. The solidarity of being a sports fan makes me feel like I’m part of something greater, all the while reminding me of how small I really am.

4. I love the smell of coffee beans grinding at a coffee shop and the first 30 seconds of cradling my coffee cup between my hands.  The smell and warmth combined fills me with a comfortable feeling of both belonging and inspiration.

5. I love the tap dance my fingers dance on the keyboard when I write — the sounds of the clicking keys free my mind to concepts and ideas that I would never be capable of without the melodic sound of the keyboard dance.

6. I love the experienceof sharing a new bottle of wine with someone; this feeling is particularly enhanced when paired with dark chocolate and great conversation.  Savoring the taste of something alongside someone else magnifies its effect on me and creates a transcending moment of foodie pleasure.

7. I love being touched — I am speaking of hugs, professional massages, or high-fives.  The power of touch continually amazes me: it connects and encourages humanity in ways that psychology can’t even yet explain.

8. I love having freshly brushed teeth (and when no toothbrush is available, I love Listerine).  The feeling of a clean mouth refreshes me from the inside out, it is as if revives my entire perspective on life.

9. I love the feeling of water flowing around my body when I swim; this is particularly moving to me when I am in the ocean and when I am pushing off the wall from a tight streamline as I break the surface of the water.  There is something so incredibly healing and powerful in water and it is a medium that once engulfed underneath it, all your problems disappear.

10. I love the feeling of inspiration, when someone or something (a movie, or a book) inspire me to change myself so that ultimately I can help change my own little piece of the world. Inspiration comes like a fresh wind inside your body — it literally feels like someone is breathing a new conviction to life and love into you.  Moreover, feeling compelled to share this with others enhances the experience and the feeling even more.

Petit Plaisir suggestion: Go outside in the winter so that you can experience the feeling of being bundled up in your own little cocoon.

2 Comments

  1. Parker

    I COULDNT TELL YOU HOW MANY OF LIFE’S LITTLE PLEASURES WE DONT TAKE THE TIME TO ENJOY. IF WE TOOK EACH OF THESE LITTLE PLEASURES…AND ALMOST TASTED LIFE LIKE WE TASTE A NEW BOTTLE OF WINE.. SIMPLE THINGS LIKE FRESHLY BRUSHED TEETH…WE WOULD THEN REALLY KNOW WHAT LIVING IS…AT LEAST THATS WHAT I THINK : ) LOVE YOUR BLOG!

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