I’ve mentioned before that I love to read UK magazine The Simple Things. I love that it keeps reminding me to slow down, take stock and enjoy all the small things. A regular feature in the mag, that I just love, is the ‘Could-Do’ list.
The headline “Your Could-Do List” then follows with a sub-heading “Things you might want to do this month (no pressure!)”. Quirky, and beautiful. Pregnant with possibility.
These days we are all slaves to our ‘To-Do’ list. There is always something being added, even when you happily cross something off it. With that comes that heavy feeling, the weight of responsibility, the slight panic of drowning under the pressure of all the things that need doing.
The ‘Could-Do List’ – (no pressure) is a welcome relief in amongst all the ‘Have-To-Do” items. I love that the suggestions are informed by the seasons, and think that if we tune the rythym of our day-to -day lives into the seasons, it makes for a much happier and enriching existence.
Here are a few of my favourite ‘Could-Dos’ from The Simple Things.
※ Bake two cakes and give one to a friend or neighbour
※ Prepare a healthy breakfast and lay the table before you sit down to eat it
※ Use fresh summer herbs to flavour water or soft drink
※ Sit outside to drink your first cuppa of the day – watch the sunrise if it’s early enough
※ Sleep with the curtains open so you wake up naturally as the sun rises.
And here are some of my own suggestions:
※ Go for a beach walk and collect shells and stones that are shaped like love hearts
※ Find a soft patch of lawn (either at home or in a park) and walk bare foot
※ Buy a piccolo of champagne and treat yourself. Float a fresh strawberry in it.
※ Pick fresh flowers from your garden and enjoy the perfume that comes only with home-grown flowers
※ Plant some strawberries in time to get a little supply for summer
※ Start a novel you’ve been wanting to read, and go to bed early to read it
※ Go for a stroll after dinner – now that it’s lighter for longer in the southern hemisphere a post-dinner walk is easy
※ Visit your local fresh produce market and buy something you’ve never cooked with before – summer suggestions are zucchini flowers (the male flower that doesn’t produce fruit), rhubarb or figs
※ Cuddle a new-born and take in their beautiful ‘new-born’ smell (but make sure you know the Mum, or things might get weird).
I do think that these days our lives are too busy for our own good. Cancer rates are on the rise, mental illness is on the rise and in amongst all this, we are trying to build these lives of achievement – where we become something or someone; ruled by the acknowledgment and approval of others.
I truly believe that it is in these small things – these suggestions of simple things that we ‘could do’ – that the key to a greater depth of happiness, or contentedness lies.
I’m not suggesting that if you do these things that you won’t get sick. Not at all. But I am suggesting that because we don’t know what is around the corner, we need to seek improvement in the quality of our day to day lives. Having a ‘no pressure’ list of possibilities that will almost certainly make you feel lighter and happier, is quite nice place to start.