Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Simple Pleasures

The other day as I sat at the salon quietly observing life go by, a hot 80s, Kool & the Gang tune playing on the radio took us back to the 80s, had us all grooving and reminiscing about when, according to my salon friends – times were sweet.

I heard (and remembered) how those were the days when we used to go out dressed to the nines, knowing we looked hot and whoever had the privilege of crossing our perfume laden paths –well, they knew tonight was the night!

We laughed as we recalled the dance moves and lamented about the days when life seemed to be more fun, more enriching and ironically, more simple.

Ok, so some things haven’t changed, maybe the S-curl and the hi-gloss lipstick has been swapped for bling and more bling. So, we still love looking good but valuing and appreciating beauty in simple things is a rare quality these days.

Maybe we’re just getting old, chirped a sister in the corner. Not so, according to my locktician twisting my locks through his fingers. He pointed out that in ‘the good old days’, life’s simple pleasures were as basic as being able to go out and have fun without fearing for our safety. He added that young people these days have so much to deal with. Alcohol, drugs and the constant battle of competing to be the world’s most cool, switched on, connected but worse still, being alive to see their 35th birthday.

Seems the bottom line is, life is cheap these days. For all the gadgets, access to technology and information designed to enhance our lives, clearly we are dangerously close to becoming completely devoid of life’s so-called, ‘simple pleasures’.

So what are simple pleasures to us these days? Consider time - a fast evaporating commodity? – some say there is never enough! When last did you take time to feel the juice of a luscious mango run down your chin? Whilst on our never ending treadmill of must-do, have to and where to next, it seems we have to plan time to just be.

We are feeling the heat and the call to unclutter our lives abounds from Oprah house makeovers, to the health gurus who warn that clutter, the unending quest to acquire and consume is the biggest threat to our lives. Read: stress! Stress that comes from worrying about keeping up with the Jones’ and the fear of never having enough. Truth is, what ever we have will never be enough.

In our love-hate relationship with cosmopolitan modernity, we love the experiencing and consuming shiny new things, however, deep down we yearn for the worn, comfortable ‘old’ things.

When we look back, generations before us never had facebook but they were deeply connected to each other. They took time for and with each other. They experienced life’s luxuries from a different perspective.

It’s a calling and some are heeding the call. Imagine the collective power of a global reality which prioritises time spent being instead of time spent doing in the quest to raise the stakes of consumerism. Simple pleasures – Taking time to feel, to love, to listen, to be, will pave a road to everyday ecstasy.

1 comment:

Ruthibelle said...

While I understand quite clearly the essence of your article, and am even wont to agree on some of the finer points, I have to admit a weariness of "older" generations lamenting the never-ending virtues of days gone by.

As a member of this present and apparently disadvantaged generation, I feel compelled to refute the notion that humanity's best days are far behind us, long gone and never to return. I always think it is grossly unfair to my generation for older persons to describe the period in which they lived as "the best" period of life, for them to look at us with something akin scorn and disdain, or treat us like poor things.

Our lives may not be remotely similar to theirs, but make no mistake about it, we do our best with the life/time we have... Do I sound a little precocious, bitter? Maybe, but I get so annoyed when I hear anybody talking about the good old days... as far as I am concerned, my best days are NOW. It is what I have, what I can use, and I intend to enjoy it (like they did theirs) to the fullest...