My goal for this year: get more pleasure out of life.

Not the profligate, crazy, acquisitive, icky (and you know what I mean) kind, but deeper, durable, really joyful pleasure: the type – deep down – we all crave (though yes, every once in a while, you need a little good ick).

Deep pleasure is based on sense and sensibility: I want to feel deep contentment and delight about how I live. Here’s my personal manifesto (please note, not resolution) for the year and beyond.

  1. I will embrace pleasure. I will banish the inner puritan who mandates that pleasure is something to be sprinkled parsimoniously (if at all) onto struggle and responsibility. Genuine pleasure is our birthright, and it’s essential to our happiness and therefore health. Living more pleasurably = health, happiness, success. Sounds good to me.
  2. I will pay attention. In a society in which success is allegedly about the big picture, I will also look at the little picture and revel in the details: the texture, quality, technique, backstory, social/environmental impact etc.  Noticing details takes time (the ultimate luxury in our crazy world) and I will take that time. I will educate myself on what great quality is, and question why things are designed the way they are. But I won’t be too tedious about it, I promise.
  3. I will be ruthless. Inspired by William Morris who famously said, “have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful,” I will edit ruthlessly. I will avoid nostalgia and fantasy. To those things that were once interesting, stimulating, inspiring and evocative, but aren’t any more: be gone. And re: things that I’m holding onto just because someone gave them to me: why keep something ugly to remind me of them?
  4. I won’t buy crap. Think William Morris. Think buy fewer but better. Think the perfect, not the expedient. Think handmade and thoughtfully designed, not mass produced and schlocky. Think unique not humdrum. When the acquisitive urge hits, I’ll focus on why I’ve got that itch and try to meet that precise need head-on. Sometimes it will be about wanting novelty, so I’ll cruise Pinterest or find new things or people to profile here or on Handful of Salt. Other days it will be about trying to make sense of the world, so I’ll just sit and be. And sometimes it will be about needing that 6th pair of black boots with the square toe, and I will go hunt them down.
  5. I will live by my own rules. It’s time.

My manifesto for 2014 and beyond. May delight, joy, and pleasure be yours.