They say the best things in life are free. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, the list below proves that statement to be true. Life is filled with simple pleasures, the little satisfying effects you never really anticipate, but always take great pleasure in. They are the gifts of life that we each subconsciously celebrate in our own unique way.
Here are 30 of the most satisfying simple pleasures life has to offer:
- Sleeping In on a Rainy Day – As the rain beats lightly against the window, you nestle your head deeper into your pillow. The sound is soothing and your bed feels like a sanctuary. There is no place you would rather be.
- Finding Money You Didn’t Know You Had – You reach into your pocket and find a $20 bill from the last time you wore these jeans. You aren’t rich, but you are richer than you were a second earlier.
- Making Brief Eye Contact with Someone of the Opposite Sex – You pass her on the street or in the subway. She glances up at you momentarily, making direct eye contact in a way that seems to communicate a subtle curiosity. For a split second it makes you think… and then it’s gone.
- Skinny Dipping – There is something mysteriously liberating about being naked in a body of water. You are naked, but it feels natural, a sense of unrefined freedom.
- Receiving a Real Letter or Package via Snail Mail – E-mail has become the primary source of written communication. Most snail mail these days is junk mail. When you check the mail and find a real letter or package from someone you know, excitement overtakes you as you tear into this rare gift.
- Making the Yellow Light – It’s one of the most common simple pleasures, the act of beating the pack. As you blaze through the yellow light you glance in your rearview to see all the cars behind you stopping at the red light. Yes! You made it!
- Telling a Funny or Interesting, True Story – One of the most enticing roles you lead in life is that of the storyteller. You love to share stories, especially those that will captivate your audience with deep curiosity and humor. There are few things more satisfying than telling a true story that others enjoy listening to.
- Seeing a Friend Stumble Over Himself – As you walk across the street with your friend, he fails to accurately address the curb on the other side. He trips and stumbles around momentarily before regaining his footing, then swiftly attempts to play it off like nothing happened. This can be a hilarious sight if the moment is right.
- Hearing the Right Song at the Right Moment – It doesn’t matter what the setting is, hearing the right song for that moment is one of those simple pleasures in life that instantly lifts your spirits. You could be driving home from work, hanging out at a bar with friends, or jogging. When the right song rattles your ear drums the entire meaning of life seems crystal clear.
- The First Sip of a Beverage When You’re Thirsty – You just finished mowing the lawn or taking a long jog. The only thing on your mind is an ice-cold glass of water. When you are really, really thirsty, that first sip of any liquid beverage is sheer bliss.
- Catching a Glimpse of Bare Skin on the Opposite Sex – For guys, it’s when the waitress bends over a little too far. For girls it’s seeing that buff guy in a Speedo. Either way, when you see a bit more skin than you were expecting on the opposite sex, you can’t help but to smirk on the inside.
- Saying the Same Thing Simultaneously – There is a moment of silence. Then all of the sudden you and your friend blurt out the same exact set of words simultaneously. This rare occurrence is something to smile about.
- The Pull-Through Parking Spot – You pull into a parking spot and are delighted to see the availability of the parking spot immediately in front of you. You pull through to the spot in front so that when you return to the car you can drive forward out of the parking spot. Why? Because driving backwards is a pain in the butt.
- Realizing You Have More Time to Sleep – Something abruptly awakens you and you think it’s time to get up. Then you squint over at your alarm clock and realize you still have 2 more hours to sleep. A warm euphoric feeling shoots though your body as you glide gracefully back to your dreams.
- People Watching – Sitting there on your bench you can see people in every direction. Tall people, small people, thin and plump. Blond, brunette, and redhead alike. Each of them has a different stride and a unique expression. As you drift from body to body you are mesmerized by what you see.
- Putting On Clothes Straight from the Dryer – As soon as the dryer buzzes, you pull out your clothes and put them on. They feel soothingly warm on your skin and emit a fresh-scented aroma into the air. A sentiment of ease comes over you as you head out to conquer the day.
- A Familiar Smell – You just pulled into your parent’s driveway and opened the car door. You haven’t been home in a long while. You smell familiarity in the air, the scent of a large pine tree in the neighbor’s yard. As you head through the front door, more familiar smells consume your senses. Gosh, it feels good to be home…
- The Feeling You Get When Your Idea Works – You have been struggling to resolve a complex problem all day and you just can’t seem to get it right. Filled with frustration, you decide to exercise one last idea before calling it a night. You’ve had many ideas before that failed miserably… but this time it works.
- Fresh, Clean Bed Sheets – You yank at the corner of the bedspread to create just enough space to slide your body under the freshly cleaned sheets. The sheets feel cool to the touch. Everything seems so clean, like nobody has ever slept in this bed before.
- A Beautiful View – As the car veers around the side of the mountain you gaze out the passenger window. It’s a clear, sunny day and you can see the entire valley below filled with wild flowers and bright green vegetation. The scenery reminds you of something you once saw in National Geographic. But here it is live, right before your eyes.
- Reminiscing About Old Times with Your Closest Friends – Pink Floyd once said “the memories of a man in his old age are the deeds of a man in his prime”. There is no simple pleasure more satisfying than recounting the greatest moments of your life with your closest friends who lived these moments alongside you.
- Receiving an Unexpected Compliment – It’s been an average day. Nothing really great has happened, but nothing terrible occurred either. This monotonous day has put you in a dreary mood. Unexpectedly, an older, attractive lady taps you on the shoulder, calls you “handsome” and says she loves your shirt. The day just got a whole lot better.
- Having a Good Laugh – Laughter is the greatest cure of all. Life is extraordinary in the moments when you are laughing so hard you can barely breathe. These moments of deep laughter are divine in the sense that they cleanse your mood and set your mind on a positive track.
- The Feeling After a Healthy Workout – It’s a giddy feeling of self accomplishment; the one true activity that actually makes you feel better and look better simultaneously. When you walk out the front door of the gym you are on top of the world.
- The Celebration in the Instant Something Makes Sense – Even now that it has explained to you for the third time, you just don’t understand how it works. Everyone else seems to understand but you. Then out of the blue the dots connect in your mind. You finally get it, and it feels great!
- Relaxing Outdoors on a Sunny Day – As you relax sprawled out in a lawn chair, the sun warms your skin and a light breeze keeps the temperature comfortable. Birds are chirping merrily in the trees behind you. You are at complete peace with the environment.
- Holding Hands with Someone You Love – Every time she grabs your hand you are overcome with an awareness of how much she means to you. Holding hands is sensual and physically intimate, yet subtle. There are few people you allow to hold your hand, so when it happens you can be sure that the moment is special.
- Playing in the Water – Water marvels people of all ages. From jumping in puddles as a child, to doing cannon balls in the pool as an adolescent, to enjoying a cocktail in the Jacuzzi as an adult… water is enjoyable.
- Making Someone Smile – You notice that your colleague has been under a great deal of stress with meeting a deadline, so you take it upon yourself to complete one of her indirect responsibilities for her. As soon as she realizes what you did, she comes into your office with a big smile on her face. “Thank you”, she says. You just hit two birds with one stone, because making her smile just made your day.
- Finishing What You Started – You just finished up a big project you’ve been working on for the last few months, or maybe you just finished your first marathon… Either way, you finalized what you set out to accomplish. The feeling of self accomplishment you get when you finish what you started is by far one of the most rewarding simple pleasures life has to offer.
A comprehensive list of life’s simple pleasures would be quite extensive. My list represents those which are most satisfying to a sample of people in and around my life. With a few sporadic exceptions, I believe these simple pleasures hold universal appeal.
Also, check out The Book of Awesome (Snow Days, Bakery Air, Finding Money in Your Pocket, and Other Simple, Brilliant Things) to read about hundreds of other awesome simple pleasures.