As a companion to the "Ten Things" episode Mark and I just released - our annual list of acknowledgements - I decided to make another list of SIMPLE PLEASURES that I would find simply pleasurable should I actually have the opportunity to do them. But I don't. So maybe you will. 

1. BEER AROUND A CAMPFIRE WITH FRIENDS - This is the one that made me think of this ridiculous list. I was listening to a country song in my car and that's what it was talking about. The slowness and lack of consideration for time or needing to get things done sounds reeeeeeal nice. 

2. PETTING MY CAT - Haven't done that since 2016, but it sure was nice during those seventeen years prior. 

3. A LEISURELY VACATION - My vacations are never leisurely. Because I enjoy being active. But I can tell you, if I had all the time in the world, I'd probably take some extra time to slow down and do nothing for a minute.

4. HOLDING HANDS WITH SOMEONE I CARE ABOUT - Holding hands is pretty intimate. It shows a level of emotional connection that's strong enough to express through such a simple act. A physical connection. Something I haven't felt in a long, long time. But maybe 2024 will be the year I open myself up to someone really special. 

5. WINNING A RACE - I used to win races occasionally. Now I don't even try. I couldn't if I did. Felt pretty good when I did though.

6. GROWING MY OWN VEGETABLES - About as close as I've ever come to that is having to weed the garden as a kid and pulling all the wild onions from my yard during the pandemic. I'd imagine there's a lot of satisfaction in cutting onions and bell peppers I raised from seed and consumed with dinner.

7. QUIETLY ENJOYING A CUP OF COFFEE AT A COFFEE SHOP - First of all, I rarely go to other coffee shops because I don't like their coffee. And second of all, I can hardly enjoy a cup at DoubleShot, let alone quietly. Gone are the days of anonymity and ignorance.

8. MOUNTAIN BIKING - A few years ago I crashed mine riding in one of my favorite places on the planet, and that unexpected loss of control left a hole in my psyche about twenty-six inches wide.

9. EATING STUPID STUFF - Like cinnamon rolls, Twizzlers, peanut butter cups, BBQ chips, pepperoni pizza... gorging myself on delicious-tasting junk. I just won't do it. I can't eat a lot of that stuff, but I work too hard to put unnecessary calories and unhealthy foodstuffs in my body.

10. CHATTING WITH MY DAD - A pleasure I lost in 2014. It wasn't the things we said to each other so much as the silences in between words that didn't need saying.