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What Is Your Daily Pleasure?

Moments when you live from the spaciousness of your true self

Green scene with water, willow trees, little blue rowing boat and two ducks.
At Evergreen, looking towards the low, distant hills.

I sit in the office and fill out paperwork for a client who has been referred to my workplace because she has dementia.

To determine her level of need for support, I ask a series of questions about her ability to deal with activities of daily living, like showering, cooking, and shopping. Then I ask her one more:

What is your daily pleasure?

The woman’s reaction to this question follows a typical pattern. She sits there quietly, a slight frown on her face. It’s an unusual question. It’s not about facts like whether she can walk without aids or remember how to boil a kettle. It’s about her feelings.

After a few startled seconds, she looks into the distance as she mentally runs through her day, a smile slowing forming. I wait, my pen poised, saying nothing. Then she laughs and says what she loves to do every day.

Some of the answers I’ve had over the years:

  • My first cup of tea in the morning

  • Taking my dog for a walk

  • Feeding the chooks

  • Knitting dolls for children in Africa

  • Sitting outside in the sun

  • Talking to my daughter on the phone

  • Working in the garden

  • Watching the birds through my window

  • Just waking up in the morning. At my age, every day is a bonus!

All their answers are simple. They have nothing to do with money, success, status, or achievement. Their answers express moments of peacefulness, kindness, or appreciation.

Most of the clients are in their late seventies to late nineties. It would be easy to conclude that their daily pleasures are different from ours because of their age. But if we ask ourselves that question, I suspect we’d come up with similar things.

That first sip of Earl Grey tea in the morning, while sunlight strikes the softly rolling green hills on the horizon, is my daily pleasure.

What is yours?

Recall the feeling it gives you, the state of being it puts you in.

The simple thing that we really love to do every day can settle us into our essence, our true self, where there is no dementia.

It fills the moment with spaciousness, peace, and light.

With love, Marlane

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