The Simple Pleasures in Life!


Simple Pleasures

I recently spent a number of hours watching over my father as he lay sleeping in a hospital bed. As he was under sedation I was essentially alone in splendid solitude: no computer, no mobile phone, no email, no TV.. no outside influences or distractions – a perfect “time out” to reflect and think.

It cast my mind back 21 years ago when roles were reversed as I lay on a hospital bed in quarantine, due to an illness, which allowed only a few infrequent visitors, my father being the one to attend most. On one particular occasion I was having a bit of a rant at how unfair life was on me….. clearly dismayed at my misguided thoughts and misdirected use of energy, my father bluntly pointed out to me how I may never again get such a period of time to reflect and think about my place in life, what I wanted to achieve and where I was going!

At 23 as I was then, I had been burning both sides of several candles, trying to get out of life far more than I was putting in and as he put it “my mind was writing cheques that my body couldn’t cash”. He encouraged me to reflect and use the time well, and then he used a phrase I’d rarely heard let alone practiced before or only intermittently since.

Enjoy the simple pleasures of life.

 As my father was lying there I was thinking again of that advice, how enduring it was and how it was even more relevant today than it was in 1990.

The definition of the simple pleasures of life may vary slightly from person to person depending on factors such as gender, age, family situation, where you live and indeed your interests but in essence it is the same for everyone. The simple pleasures of life – participating in activities with your family, the company of your friends, sitting in the park or a cafe watching the world go by, walking, running, cycling, reading, listening to music, working in the garden, doing some DIY, achieving small but meaningful goals, the list is almost endless.

In this era where there is an addiction to being entertained, as opposed to entertaining and enjoying oneself, it struck me that we need to constantly remind ourselves of what are the simple pleasures of life and even more importantly resolve to go and enjoy them. In times of financial restraint the simple things are usually free.           The point being we need to make the effort to enjoy the simple pleasures in life and appreciate them more.

I for my part have resolved to enjoy the simple pleasures in life for myself this coming weekend. Something along the lines of the following –

  • Wake up, kiss my wife and thank god for another day.
  • Have a leisurely breakfast in the company of my family, to actually eat while sitting down and chat about the things that are important to the kids.
  • Listen to more music and less news radio
  • Go to my son’s rugby game, appreciate his endeavour, and regardless of result or performance tell him he did brilliant to enjoy the smile it will put on his face.
  • Go for a walk around the English Market and take a stroll around Fitzgeralds Park.
  • Go for a run or cycle down around the Marina on Sunday culminating in a well earned “treat” at the farmers market in Blackrock pier and arrange to meet some friends there.
  • Look over some old photos, reminisce on times gone by.
  • To tackle the garden and sort it out after the winter.
  • Probably the only phrase I remember from studying Peig Sayers for the leaving cert was “ag bothantiocht” which described the practice of visiting neighbours for tea and chat, again something we rarely practice these days. Well at least one of my neighbours will have the pleasure of my company for an hour this week end (whether they like it or not!!)
  • Remind myself to do it all again next week end.

To coin a much used phrase.   The cost of such activity this weekend is about €10.   The value… priceless!!


Fachtna O’Mahony is a partner of Quintas


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8 Responses to “The Simple Pleasures in Life!”

  1. Jennifer Says:

    A fantastic piece and great reminder. Thanks Fachtna.

  2. Kerrie O'Callaghan Says:

    A really great piece and so relevant. Well done Fachtna

  3. Liam Maher Says:

    A timely reminder of the “Simple Things” well done Fachtna a wonderful piece !

  4. john tugano Says:

    your fathers advice is really great..I’ll let myself be enamored by simple life pleasures.

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