You are currently viewing Looking on the Lighter Side ~ Celebrating Those Moments of Pleasure #MondayMotivation

Looking on the Lighter Side ~ Celebrating Those Moments of Pleasure #MondayMotivation

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Fighting the Fear

Sometimes it’s hard to remember all those moments of pleasure that make life worth living. Let’s face it, it can be tough to deal with what’s going on around us. We turn on the news, browse social media, and listen to our friends and family as they discuss the latest depressing, scary piece of information (or misinformation) they’ve heard. It can be enough to terrify us, or at the very least, to sap us of our energy and hope. Worryingly, it can also be enough to make us feel guilty for living our lives as normal, for seeking out the things that make life worth living.

But if we don’t seek them out, how do we stay sane in this crazy world? It’s the little things that bring us unexpected comfort, and that’s why we really need to keep looking on the lighter side and celebrating those moments of pleasure. Because surely if there’s one thing all this misery and fear teaches us, it’s that we need to grab our happiness when and where we can.

A word cloud concept in red caps around the word Stress with great terms such as pressure, deadlines, family, duties, tension, change and more.

 

Moments of Pleasure

We can’t assume that life will always be peaceful, or even normal. The last few years have shown us that change can come at frightening speed, and rob us of any sense of security or normality. None of us is immune from this. No one has guarantees. We should never take the good times for granted.

There’s an amazing song called Moments of Pleasure (it’s by Kate Bush, you can find it here on YouTube), and it always makes me think that really, that’s all life is at its best. Moments of pleasure. We can’t hope for a constant, unbreakable happiness. Bad things happen all the time, and sometimes it seems we lurch from disaster to disaster, our lives plagued by worries and fears. All we have is those precious moments in between, where we take a breath, close our eyes, face the sun, and realise that we are alive, and for that one shining moment, we are happy.

And these moments don’t have to be dramatic or expensive. They can be anything. In fact, it’s surprising how little it takes to cheer us up and lift our spirits. Here are a few of my “moments of pleasure”.

 

Horses

Horses have been my favourite animal since I was about seven years old. And when I say horses, I also include ponies and donkeys – I love them all. Just looking at a photo of one can make me happy, which is a good job as I’ve never owned a horse or even had riding lessons. I had posters of the native ponies of Britain all over my bedroom wall when I was a kid, and I had an impressive collection of pony books (many of which I still have) and that, along with cadging the odd five-minute ride from schoolfriends who had their own ponies, had to be enough. But even today just the sight of a horse can cheer me up. I’m in awe of how beautiful they are.

 

A dun horse and a chestnut horses side by side behind a gate in a field with trees in the background

 

Birds

Have you ever noticed the birds in your garden? I was looking out of the window this morning and saw a tiny little bird – it looked like a coal tit but I’m no expert so can’t be sure – and I was struck by how beautiful it was. I found this post online called Common British birds in Your Garden  and I stared at the photographs and thought, wow! They’re stunning! Just ordinary little birds, and I’ve never taken much notice before, but look how pretty they are.

 

Image of coal tit bird sitting on branch of tree
Coal tit

 

One of my favourite things is birdsong. My grandson, Freddie, who’s eighteen months old, was sitting with me in my back garden the other week, and we heard a bird singing in the bushes near the fence. You should have seen his face! He was staring across at the bushes, trying to find the source of the noise, a look of enchantment on his face. I sometimes listen to it when I’m working too. If it’s too cold or noisy outside to open a window, I listen to it via Birdsong Radio.

 

Churches and Church Bells

Another favourite sound is church bells. I even have them as the ringtone on my phone. And whenever we go for a drive out I’m always on the lookout for a pretty country church. I don’t know why. They just make me happy.

 

Pretty country church in Thornton le Dale North Yorkshire, with blue skies above.

 

 

The Countryside and Coast

I love beautiful scenic views, the countryside, the sea, pretty villages. Nothing lifts my spirits more than a rural or coastal scene. When I’m in a really low mood, just a glimpse of water or trees or fields can snap me out of it. Nature is a remarkable healer.

 

Rolling hills of the Yorkshire Wolds, East Yorkshire, with blue skies and white clouds above.
The Wolds, East Yorkshire

 

Sea view from Ravenscar North Yorkshire.
Ravenscar, North Yorkshire

 

Grandchildren

I’m lucky to have eight grandchildren now (I know, I definitely don’t look old enough…ahem) and they’re guaranteed to cheer me up. Especially when I get little surprise gifts, like this hand drawn card from my youngest granddaughter…

 

handwritten card with drawing of female figure by child and words Love You written in pencil above it.
A flattering portrait of Grandma!

 

Or this lovely plaque to hang in my office.

 

Decorative plaque reading Grandma I've been called a lot of names, Grandma is my favourite

 

Or when my daughter sends me daily pictures of Freddie. He’s at a fabulous age, and nothing makes me happier than when he toddles up to me, book in hand, and holds out his arms for me to pick him up, sit him on my knee, and read to him. Although, sometimes, he prefers a little exploration and adventure. Like when he discovered the catflap in their utility room…

 

Image shows toddler halfway through a catflap, only legs visible.

 

Flowers

Look at these gorgeous photos taken by my daughter-in-law a few years ago at Yorkshire Lavender. She got frighteningly close to those bees! My favourite flower is actually the daffodil. It’s a promise of spring and lightness after a dark winter, and I take it as a message of hope. All dark days end eventually…

 

A collage of flowers in orange, white, purple and yellow, some with bees.

 

Magic and Mystery

Don’t you just love the mysteries of life? That feeling that there are things we don’t understand. The what ifs? and the possibilities. The spark of mystical enchantment that keeps us forever unsure, but hoping, dreaming, creating. If we could draw back the veil what would we see? I love the storytelling possibilities.

 

A mystical view of a half moon and stars through a window created by knotted tree branches
Enchanted dark forest in the moonlight. Is this where we’ll find fairies and unicorns?

 

Gothic image of moonlit night with Whitby Abbey shrouded in cloud and mist.
Witches, vampires, ghosts – so many possibilities!

My collections

It’s important to me to have things around me when I’m writing that reflect my interests and loves. So on my wall cabinet you’ll see I have lots of Doctor Who figurines, because I’m passionate about Doctor Who. The whole of space and time and a hero with no guns but two hearts! Who wouldn’t be?

You’ll also find a few hares on there, because I’m fascinated by them. Three of them were presents from my friend, Jessica, and the larger one was from my daughter. I also have a stone hare that sits in the garden – a housewarming present from my friend, Jo.

Then there’s the section that reflects my love of writing and reading, with the Happily Ever After ornament, bought in Stratford Upon Avon just before Christmas, along with the Shakespeare teddy and the Shakespeare bauble. The quill and inkpot were gifts from my sister, and the star reads “Tell a Beautiful Story” and was another present from Jessica. Below those is my small collection of horse and pony figurines.

There’s my “witchy” stuff in the middle, with mugs and trinket boxes and a jar and a witch figurine. On the bottom right is my triple goddess statue and a lump of rose quartz, along with a succulent. Bottom left is my collection of cottages representing Tuppenny Bridge (my forthcoming series), made by Stu at The Indigo Cottage Company.

On the wall to the left you’ll see the Marauder’s Map from Harry Potter, with Rowan the Wrendale Hare sitting below him, and to the right is my Build-a-Bear Eleventh Doctor teddy. Yes, I know! But you know what, I don’t care.

 

Wall cabinet with display of Doctor Who collectibles, hares, witch figures, horse figurines and miniature cottages.
A few of my favourite things on display in my office

 

Friends

Writing has brought so many possibilities into my life, including some wonderful friends. Spending time with them is a fabulous gift. Before Christmas I spent a few nights in Stratford Upon Avon with some brilliant friends, and we had a great time. I’ve made some great friends in the RNA’s local chapter and I see many of them each month. Now my friend Alys has moved closer I can see her more frequently, and my best friend, Jessica Redland, and I meet regularly. We’ve had lots of fun (and lots of puddings) over the last nine years.

 

Image shows Jessica Redland and Sharon booth smiling at camera
The day we went to see Kylie in concert!

 

I could continue this post forever. When I think of the things that bring me pleasure the list goes on and on: the husband I’ve laughed with, fought with, and loved for over forty years; the three sons and two daughters who’ve brought me joy, pain, frustration, fun, and a million other emotions that I can’t even put a name to; music I’ve sung along to, danced to, cried to; television programmes and films; trees; my lovely dog; my family; books – writing them and reading them; kind messages from readers, telling me how much they’ve enjoyed my stories; sitting outside in the garden watching my grandkids play; a painting that touches the heart; a poem that reveals a hidden truth; a Christmas carol that makes the spirit soar; a scented candle; a meal out in a pub… When you look it’s all right there, holding your head above water when you don’t even know you’re drowning.

 

Your Moments of Pleasure

So what gives you your moments of pleasure? What takes your mind off your worries? Who or what puts a smile on your face and gives you hope in your heart? I’d love to hear from you!

 

Have a great week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Linda Acaster

    Ah, that’s set me up smiling for the day! Thanks Sharon.

    1. sharon

      I’m really happy to hear it! Have a great day, Linda xx

  2. Karen Cheetham

    Love everything about this blog Sharon. I’m with you all the way on it. I’ve stopped watching the news – not because I don’t care, but because I choose to try to be kind to whoever is around me, as that is something positive I can do, as opposed to just seeing doom and gloom everywhere. I have learned to treasure the moment and find awe and beauty in the magic of nature. Keep spreading the good vibes x

    1. sharon

      So glad you feel the same, Karen. It took me ages to realise that watching the news and getting more anxious and depressed wasn’t helping anyone. We need to find the best way through the darkness, and it seems it’s not huge floodlights that lead us out, but tiny pinpricks of light that are so common we don’t notice them at first. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Have a great day xx

  3. Jill's Book Cafe

    Watching the news is definitely depressing and to be avoided, not ignored, jut not binge watched. I enjoy watching the birds in the garden and even the squirrels, even though they’ve eaten the office window frames and door (£2k to sort!) I’ve enjoyed re-discovering my love of romance and feel good fiction (we all need that right now), I’ve fallen in love so many times this year, I could outdo Love Island in the swapping stakes – I say that, without never actually having watched it so I might be doing myself or them a disservice. Love the picture of Freddie in the cat flap, that would make anybody smile xx

    1. sharon

      Haha, thanks Jill. Just spent the afternoon with him so my spirits are high right now. Sorry about the naughty squirrels! You’re so right about limiting the news. It’s so easy to get hooked on watching it way too many times, but I’ve definitely benefited from cutting it right down. I’ve never watched Love Island either, but I’m glad you’re enjoying the romance and feel good fiction. Thanks for commenting xx

  4. Chris Spiers

    I love to visit the sea. Being as we are in the middle of the country it is quite a few miles from us. Hence we keep a caravan in storage at a wonderful site in Dorset. I also love cows, they have wonderful eyes and I’d course my Grandchildren. Reading your blog makes me happy xxx

    1. sharon

      Aw thanks Chris. So kind! Oh yes, cows do have wonderful eyes. They’re beautiful animals. How fabulous to have a caravan in Dorset. I think that would make me happy too! Have a lovely week xx

  5. Loving all those moments that give you pleasure and glad to hear they’re helping you get through the tough times. Sending hugs xxxxx

    1. sharon

      Thanks Jessica. Hope you’re having a wonderful time! Lots of love xxxxx

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