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Gloria's Simple Pleasures

By Gloria Diaz

Check out Gloria's Blog — Edge of Gloria!

Fort Wayne Reader


Simple pleasures are becoming important to me. This summer, since I'm working in a very hot environment, I'm finding that one of my favorite things is to come home, ramp up the air conditioning, stuff my face full of chocolate, and gulp down ice-cold water. Oh, and cue the YouTube videos. Sometimes, it's CinemaSins, other times it's infomercials. Don't ask me why. I think I want something mindless. God help me.

It's better than shooting up heroin. But it bothers me that working in a hot environment wipes me out. I usually look forward getting off work and getting stuff done, but even though I have a novel that needs to be finished, and craft projects made for a September deadline, I'm doing other stuff. Mindless stuff.

It bothers me, but maybe it shouldn't. I do manage to get stuff done. And I'm always surprised by it. It's like, “hey, I was worried about getting this thing done, and it's getting done.” I don't know why I do that. I guess worrying is a hereditary trait. Ironically, I get it from my mother, who, when I pondered all the “what ifs” used to tell me, “don't go borrowing trouble.”

But I worry anyway. And I'm off track. Simple pleasures. Sitting out in my backyard grilling. Twilight falling, stuffing my face with good. Pleasantly full. Listening to the cicadas. Looking at my garden. I gave it a rest last year, resorting to containers. I didn't get as many tomatoes as I wanted, but this year, it's a different story. I don't know if it's the rest, or the heat, or sun, but I got tomatoes before July, which is unheard of.

Going swimming. I still want my own pool, but I go out to New Haven, roast for a while in the sun, then cool off in the pool. Last summer, I figured out how to do a flip turn. Having goggles help. The next step is to do them without seeing where I'm going.

Driving my damn car. My Aveo was in the shop 17 days out of a three week period of time, and my bank account was being drained by Uber and Lyft. I appreciate the services being there, but going to my job meant $30 a day in transportation fees. Having my car back seemed like a miracle. It reminded me when I get sick, and how nice it is to feel well again. Not having a car means my world gets smaller. I try and tell myself I spend less money that way, by NOT having a car, but it didn't quite work. Not this time around.

So is life good right now? Yes, and no. I'm trying to make it better, trying to look at the positives, and having my first article published in a major magazine a few weeks ago felt good. Finally figuring out a personal issues that took decades to unravel felt good too. Like a weight had been lifted.

I'm enjoying the simple pleasures, and realizing they don't really cost very much. Sitting out in the yard. Lying in a cool bed. Ice-cold water, as much as I want whenever I want. I'm trying to allow myself these things, that I do deserve them, and not just because I put in a decent day's work in a hot, miserable environment. In observing the simple pleasures, I'm trying to be kinder to myself.

I'm trying to enjoy the ride. Maybe someday, I'll really be saying to myself, “I deserve this. For real.”

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