Homage to Simple Joys 14


I have been in a slightly pensive mood lately. Fairly typical in my case. Such moods roll over me every few months and linger for a while. I actually enjoy them quite a bit. The word I most associate with in this times is melancholy, which can mean depression in its normal sense, but not for me.

Just means I am quietly reflecting. Thinking. Sorting.

Its a nice change in pace, especially in relation to the speed in which thoughts and ideas bounce around my head.

When I get this way, I often watch Casablanca, far and away my favorite movie in history. I could only hazard a guess at the actual total of times I have watched it, but the number is well over 100 for sure.

This time I opened up my spare hard drive with all the television shows and movies I have downloaded and watched the movie from the trailer above, Last Chance Harvey. Dustin Hoffman. Emma Thompson. A simple movie. Not a lot of action at all. Just a good, clean story with realistic characters.

A simply lovely movie.

In its honor and sat down after and just wrote out a random list of things that make me smile. Some of the simple joys in life that make me smile when they happen, as I am right now:

  • The sound of rain
  • Solitude
  • Children playing without abandon
  • A well-thought-thourgh wedding toast
  • The simplicity of a perfect sentence
  • A smile in your direction from a stranger
  • A colorful sunset… perhaps with a cold drink in hand
  • Silence
  • A good book
  • Cooking for someone
  • A party with almost-long-lost friends.
  • A properly humidified and tasty cigar
  • A lazy Sunday afternoon nap
  • Your first passionate kiss with someone
  • A logical argument… and someone that can concede graciously in face of it
  • A properly cooked risotto
  • Wine directly from the cask
  • The view from the top of a mountain
  • A second chance
  • A hug from a parent after you screw up
  • Your morning cup of coffee
  • The feeling you get right when you start a trip
  • A friend confiding in you
  • Casablanca — worth multiple mentions in my eyes
  • A long drive without conversation, but with your favorite music
  • A sudden vivid memory from your youth
  • An all-night conversation
  • A story well-told, in person
  • Sleeping under the stars
  • Prosciutto. Ahhhhh, Prosciutto.
  • Cheese
  • Bread. Fine, let’s put that all on one line, Prosciutto, cheese, bread… and wine.
  • The music on your iPod
  • Old people holding hands
  • A black tie party

The list reminded me of the simple things I saw at the Museum of Broken Relationships. Sometimes we assume it is only the large, loud, big things in life that we will remember or that will make us feel the best, or worst, when in reality I think it is the small things.

I seek more moments of joy. Even if no one can appreciate them but me.

I want you to make time for them also.


About Michael Hodson

I’m an attorney that took off on my birthday in December of 2008 to circumnavigate the globe without ever getting on an airplane. After 16 months, 6 continents and 44 countries, I made it all the way back home. Right now, I am back on the road writing about it all.


14 thoughts on “Homage to Simple Joys

  • The Runaway Guide

    I like this. Sometimes you need a break from it all just to think things out. I just recently watched casablanca while I was in casablanca. What a great movie it was.Humphrey Bogart is too damn cool. I’m going to check out that movie you recommended, last chance harvey. Be easy, -Leif

  • Laurence

    This is a warming list of things to read about. Everyone needs a list like this in their life. In fact.. you could have done this as a meme! With links back to you and everything!

    I jest. Much enjoyed 🙂

  • Arianwen

    Ah, I saw a really old couple holding hands as they walked by in the Galapagos the other day. I smiled and thought ‘I hope that’s me one day – but not too soon!’

  • Mike

    I think people have to find simple things to find simple joys which I think can make them motivated in life. Your list are simple but can elicit simple joys that can make us smile.

  • Rease

    I love having a sort of zen moment and realizing how great simple things are. Today, I was so worried about my dog, who might need surgery. I contacted a friend, whose dad is a vet and within the hour I had so much information and support. It was just such a lovely feeling to know my friends are so great. And my dog is so great too, of course. I’m glad you took the time to make a happiness list.

  • Matt

    I’d don’t know where I’d be without long drives with my favorite music. And Sunday afternoon naps. Oh yeah, and the whole bread, wine, and cheese thing…

  • Mariella

    I relate to a lot of these. There’s quite a few food/drink points which reminds me of a conversation I had recently with a friend about the importance of being able to savour food – the bottom line of our thoughts being that if someone just eats because it’s necessary, you really don’t want to hook up with them because really, how can anyone be good in bed who can’t see the orgasmic quality of prosciutto, cheese and a glass of red wine?

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