I have been meditating on the idea of pleasure as of late. As a mother it often feels as if pleasure escapes me because I erroneously believed that in order to experience its sweet bliss that I must first have the time to plan it and then the time to experience it followed by a little bit more time to Instagram it lest I forget that I had any pleasure at all. But, as it turns out, I had this pleasure thing all wrong.
Sure, pleasure can be planned, but the best kind of pleasure comes in small doses and at delightfully spontaneous moments. I realized this epiphany the other night as I was making baked macaroni and cheese and I got to the part of the recipe that required me to mix melted butter with crushed Ritz style crackers. Suddenly, I felt my pupils enlarge and my heart skip a beat with a momentary bout of giddiness when I snuck a spoonful of the crispy buttery goodness into my mouth. I experienced the warmth of guilty pleasure. It took no planning. It took no time. I was simply aware for a moment that I was obliged to pay attention to something small and simple and perfect.
For a long time I had thought that pleasure meant taking a whole evening to myself. I would plan out a long quiet bath with a glass of wine and a stack of magazines. Or I would attempt to plan the impossible: date night with my husband complete with a babysitter and a nice restaurant. It was kind of exhausting. And along the way I kind of got cranky and gloomy. Motherhood and Wifehood just seemed to be work because pleasure was this fuzzy distant memory of cocktails and pillow talk.
But it turned out I was wrong. Pleasure is everywhere waiting to be soaked up and recognized and appreciated. It comes in the evening when the children are asleep and I lose the sense of time while watching their sweet faces breath in slow and steady. Pleasure is hidden in the first sip of my evening wine as I put my feet up in front of the TV for some lazy time…alone. Pleasure comes in the disguise of quick kisses with winks and nudges from my husband as he is rushing off to work. Pleasure is all around me and I am finally getting that.
As spring jumps into colorful bloom, and the promises of summer are palpable in the air, I’ll keep my fingers crossed that I keep noticing and experiencing the small pleasures of everyday.