I am so fortunate to have been with my partner for a wonderful 40 years. Sometimes I slip into self congratulation because I feel we have been in a loving sweet spot for so long it makes me very happy to think about it. I try not to take this for granted at any time. However, I do forget periodically and find myself thinking we have everything sorted. I am sure no one does. You both have to keep paying attention
Paying attention requires the ongoing element of mindfulness. To remind myself to be mindful, every now and then I read or listen to stories that may shed light on how relationships work and fail. I think it is a good practice. I continue to learn. From the article I am sharing below I better understood a particular destructive relationship dynamic, invalidation of a partner’s perspective. This understanding can be applied to seemingly trivial concerns. These apparently small things can accumulate to have dramatic outcomes. Are you receptive, perceptive and empathetic enough to see both sides? I think it is worth a read.
I will begin with my list of simple pleasures to enjoy.
Cold, clean drinking water
Natural world environments
Uncorrupted landscapes and waterways
Wind and rain
The night sky
The day sky
Anticipation of winter
Warmth on a cold day
It is so easy to be distracted, to habitually take such things for granted. More complicated experiences repeatedly assert themselves as front and centre of our consciousness and decision making. Issues surrounding insecurity, relationships and others’ bidding clamour for attention, occupy us with busy-ness and distract us.
The experiences that are always there for the taking become secondary due to their very simplicity, their enduring nature, their very availability. We readily forget to be mindful of their existence as the essence of our existence.
These profoundly simple and accessible pleasures can be constant stabilising influences on our lives. They are always present, complete with restorative potential. When we do remember to attend to them we come back to ourselves as capable of choosing to reset, appreciate and experience joy.