Friday, October 30, 2009

The Joy Diet - Treats

So here's where we find ourselves this week - in the land of treats! They're everywhere, they're everywhere! I love treats! I work for treats! I practice gratuitous treating! It's what has gotten me through the highs and lows of my life.

Each week in this wonderful journey through Martha Beck's The Joy Diet as part of Jamie Ridler's online book club we read, practice, and inwardly digest a particular menu item. This week's subject was treats. Some parts of this adventure have felt difficult, required some digging. This one feels like walking on a beach and finding one more beautiful shell or rock after another.

Write down a list of smile sparkers: good jokes, great color combinations ( sometimes just someone's laundry line makes me smile), running into friends spontaneously, listening to children or grandchildren laughing, the delicious crisp little center of bok choy or crunch of a good fall apple, a gorgeous day, swirling leaves, a glimpse of our majestic river, singing with kids, the notes my husband leaves me if he's unexpectedly gone out all kinds of silliness.

Write down things that delight your senses: the fragrant oil my yoga teacher strokes into my hair at the end of a class, good poetry read aloud, music for any mood, snuggling with my four year old grandson, my neighbor's crab apple tree - in spring it holds a breathtaking explosion of blossoms, carpeting the sidewalk as they drift down; in summer it provides a welcome pool of shade; in fall it is voluptous with it's small fruits; in winter it's gray bark and wild scramble of branches accept all kind of lights to make an intriguing sculpture; and this week I happened to get to the orchard where we'd leased a tree just as they were pressing apples into fresh cider. It was nectar from the gods! Boy, was I smiling with each sip!!

Practice divine decadence! We don't have tv and I tend to like "good" books, movies, etc. saving what I consider junkier reading for the beach or travel. But when I'm watching my grandson and he'd be busy or napping I'd turn on the tv at my daughter's. She had tivoed "America's Next Top Model." I started to follow it somewhat, and one morning she had some cheesecake sitting on the counter. So I made some coffee, sat there watching all these thin young women going through their paces, as I was savoring a delicious piece of caramel cheesecake. I suddenly saw myself from the outside and started laughing out loud, thinking "If my friends could see me now!"

I do hold treats out as a reward for getting unpleasant tasks accomplished. If I finish vacuuming, I can sit and have a cup of tea - in a real little pot. Or maybe I'll sit on the steps and watch the trees, clouds, and sky. Or sit out on the porch in a good rainstorm and feel the mist blow in on me. I'm a cheap date, easily pleased with small things. And they are everywhere.


  1. I love how you treat yourself treat yourself with love and respect and make yourself and your surroundings a priority. What bliss!

  2. How beautifully written this is! I enjoyed reading about your particular treats, and the Top Model bit had me chuckling. I aspire to be as good at treating myself!

  3. Oh you have listed some WONDERFUL treats!! Many are simple, mindful pleasures. I like that.

    I laughed outloud at your Top Model story. Very rich!

  4. What a beautiful post strewn with beautiful lists... you have given me many smile catalysts that I'd like to add to my own list! :) Here's to cheesecake splendidly eaten!

  5. Great you are a fan of clotheslines too! I always look for Flickr pictures of those, don't know what the fascination is, but there is one.
    Such a nice list. It really makes ME smile. :)
    Thank you so much for your nice comment!

  6. Ah yes, such wonderful treats and how lovely that you can see beauty in clotheslines - I'm going to be keeping an eye out now... I once saw a clothesline full of frozen stiff washing that had been left out all night during a frost - now that was funny! You are so right though, as is Martha, a treat can be the smallest thing - just as long as it gives us pleasure.

  7. I love your list of treats and your approach to this chapter. Thank you so much for sharing your week with treats.

  8. nothing like treats!! it was a treat just reading about your treats :)

  9. I have a very similar tea pot -- actually three in that style. I think I'll treat myself tonight to a tea moment. Thanks for sharing your treats and reminding me of some that I have in my home waiting for me!