Friday, November 28, 2014

Attitude of Gratitude #26: Simple Pleasures

I sit here at my make-shift office in my bedroom, before my day has officially begun, nursing a cup of flavored coffee (Torani's, sugar-free raspberry). I've just checked my vitals: work emails, Facebook, Twitter feed. And I've already eyeballed my blogger stats to see if anyone has commented on a post. Seeing the likes, favorites, and comments gives me a kick, almost as strong as the coffee I'm sipping.

I admit it. I'm addicted to attention and caffeine.  Both activities light up my brain's pleasure centers. Like drugs can. Or shopping does. Or hitting it big on the slots. This daily coffee and social media ritual gives me a relatively benign kick to get my day started. 

My morning routine definitely makes the list for today's Attitude of Gratitude blog challenge: "Write about any 3 small pleasures in your life/day." Here are the other two:

Making my rounds: On a typical day at work, I'll make a circuit of the campus, visiting friends in different departments. Before or after making copies for class, I'll sneak by a friend's office to catch up on TV shows and talk shop. Often after class, I'll take the long way back to my office and visit my friends in the counseling center or in other departments. Sometimes, I'll have a specific person I want to catch up with.  or I'll pop my head in my friends' office to say hey.

The size of our campus and our varied schedules are a barriers to communication, an unavoidable facet of teaching at a large institution. So to decrease social isolation, I take advantage of my flexible schedule to keep contacts fresh, getting a creative boost from camaraderie and community. Frankly, those informal face-to-face to meetings can be more productive than emails or meetings. A few of us joke about asking for professional credit for those casual chats that morph into planning sessions.

Being alone together: The best simple pleasure? Just being in the same room with my husband. We don't have to be engaged with each other. I can be here at my desk, grading papers or composing an assignment, while he's in bed, watching volleyball or tennis on TV. Or I'll be reading a book in bed, and he'll be on his smart phone, catching up with his friends or streaming videos of his favorite sports. 

We might talk. We might not. As long as we're near each other. it's good. Our quite time together different boost than caffeine, retweets, or socializing at work. Reassuring. Tranquil. Easy. Our alone-together time gives me the comfort I'd always hoped for in a marriage, a domestic-flavored caffeine rush to fuel my heart and day.