Busyness is a modern disease, maybe it’s an epidemic, especially among working parents. We lament the lack of quality time with our children especially as the holiday period comes to an end and the busyness tramples our aspirations to be better.
But, a change in how you look at something will change your relationship with it. Even if that thing is time. An old boss of mine had a philosophy called Pockets of Pleasure. It went like this.
Life is busy, it always will be. You have a choice to either get swept up by it all, or to enjoy the pockets of pleasure as they come to you. Really savouring that peach, pausing a second to drink in and appreciate the marvel of your surroundings.
That was 15 years ago. In today’s parlance, it’s a presence meets mindfulness plus gratitude habit. It’s come speeding back to mind as the festive holiday comes rapidly to a close.
Try it. Try finding those pockets of pleasure in your life, especially with your children. Really feel their soft little hands in yours as you walk down the street. Really savour those hugs. Be fully present to their rambling words, ideas and thoughts rather than letting your mind wander.
How do you do this?
Decide you’re going to look out for moments to indulge in, those pockets of pleasure. When you find yourself doing something, take a second to focus your attention on it. The contrasting resistance of the crunchy lettuce in the otherwise soft sandwich. The feeling of letting go of the mental to do list to turn your full attention to your tiny person’s imaginary world they’ve just created.
If you really want to make this a habit, there is one technique that some in the lifestyle optimisation crowd (a community that I find both fascinating for its thoughtfulness and weird for its emotionlessness) describe as the meta habit — one habit to rule them all. Something attributed to 20 year old Benjamin Franklin.
Write down what habits you want to cultivate. Every day rate how you did on doing them. That’s it. Here’s a post that explains it in more detail.
Pockets of pleasure.
This post was previously published on What it means to be a dad and is republished here with permission from the author.
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