It’s eye opening what simple delights I have most enjoyed throughout my life. Here are three.
1. Driving Along The Coast
A great day was when I bought my first car as a teenager. It was a ten year old two door 1952 Chevrolet, equipped with a heater and stick shift.
With ten dollars in my pocket and a date, I loved driving down Pacific Coast Highway along the ocean. I’d usually start out in Long Beach and end up somewhere down by Laguna Beach.
The best thing about doing this was it didn’t matter what time of year it was, it was always beautiful.
You could buy a hamburger, french fries and a coke for you and your date, and still have enough in your pocket for any contingency.
In my early twenties, I had planned to propose to Cheri someplace along this well traveled route. I did as planned but, as I pulled off to what I considered to be a romantic spot, my car got caught in the sand and I spent several hours and my ten dollars getting us pulled out.
Forty four years later, Cheri and I still drive up and down the coast. Only two things have changed: the car, and that she now does the driving. (She says she worries about me using my left foot to brake, not watching the road, and driving too fast.)
Life is good.
2. Mornings In Bed
No matter what time of the year it is, I love opening the curtains and shades, letting the day pour in and writing while sitting up in bed. The early morning hours go fast.
I then like getting up, making the bed, starting the washing machine, doing between twenty and thirty sit ups and pushups, taking a shower, and doing business in a comfortable leather chair. (I’ve been searching, all my life, for comfortable chairs. They are few and far between.)
3. Late Nights
Around 7 p. m., I take a hot shower, put on a newly washed pair of all cotton pajamas (I don’t like wearing the same pair of pajamas two days in a row), meeting my wife in our downstairs big screen room, and watching different On Demand Showtime dramas like Homeland or Borgias. No commercials. Wonderful scripts, great acting, and cool conversation with my wife about whether or not the shows needed to include this or that scene. (This is when it is often suggested to me that my opinions are too liberal.) After an hour or so, we go upstairs and climb into bed.
Our bed isn’t just any old bed. It stands three to three and a half feet off the ground and I need a small foot stool, to step up on, in order to easily get into the bed. (Otherwise, I would look like a toddler trying to climb into a chair.)
My iPad is not allowed in bed at nights, so after Cheri falls to sleep, which can be as soon as one to two minutes after her head hits the pillow, I lie there thinking about what I am going to write about the next morning. Halfway through a thought or two, I’m asleep. And the next thing I know, it’s morning.
Well, there are those get up in the middle of the night bathroom breaks.
And there are those times, when I have to take Ambien, to relax my mind from the day’s events.
And those occasional dreams that make absolutely no sense to me.
But it’s better than what used to be the case.
Originally, before we bought our big screen downstairs, we had a big screen in our bedroom.
We would climb into bed and turn it on.
It was an experience not to be forgotten. The screen was so large that when we turned it on at night, its light completely filled the room. I honestly felt like I was having a religious vision. Besides the light filling the room, the colors and images coming off the screen were incredibly intense. Instead of relaxing me, so I could fall asleep, my mind became overly active and I couldn’t get to sleep.
I would be up and down all night. It didn’t take long to figure out that big plasma screen watching in bed had to go.
So That’s It?
Yeah, that’s it.
Getting up, driving along the beach, and going to bed.
That kind of sounds like a wasted life. But let me analyze this for a minute.
If you just add up getting up and the going to bed part, which takes up half of your day.
Let’s say, you wake up at 6:00 A. M. and you write for an hour, then you make the bed, do the washing, exercise and take a shower. By this time it’s about 8:00 A.M. And if you add another hour for making business calls, you’ve already spent 3 hours. The best three hours of your day.
Then, if you start your night activity at 7:00 P.M., you shower and go down and watch a show and talk. All of that takes about two hours. By the time you reach your bed and go to sleep that could take as much as half an hour. So again, you’ve spent something between 2 to 3 hours. This is the all important wind down time.
Now, if you count 8 hours of sleep, you’re engaged close to 14 hours a day. It’s about the only thing you can control on a consistent basis.
So I say, why not make it as nice and pleasant as possible. Goodness knows the other hours of the day are spent on activities, over which, we often do not have as much control.
And, don’t discount sleep. Those who sleep well, stay well.
It’s hard to do this until your kids are grown up. Not only does raising babies kill your sleep time, but waiting for teenagers to get home is maddening.