Sunday, February 20, 2011

Don't Deny Your Pleasures

Anyone who knows me can’t deny that I find pleasure in life. I am by nature a happy person. If I am in a good mood, it is likely that I am laughing about something. I find myself defending myself constantly for either laughing at someone or laughing too much. My only defense is this: I’m not laughing for any reason other than to express my contentment. I have no intention to make fun of anybody; I laugh because I am happy. I also tend to think things are funny longer than I should, but that’s a quirk that people are just gonna have to deal with. As Stephen King says, “You can’t deny laughter; when it comes, it plops down in your favorite chair and stays as long as it wants.” I have often wondered if maybe the real issue is an annoying laugh. Is my laugh annoying? Well, I just wish that I could hear other people laugh more often. I love the sound of laughter, it is beautiful.

As you may have guessed, my post today is another for the Self Discovery Word-by-Word Series. The host this month is Joy at Being Joy, and the word she selected is Pleasure.

I have spent a great deal of my life avoiding pleasure. It’s like I feel guilty if I enjoy myself too much. Why is that? I’ve worked hard my whole life. I deserve to have fun. It seems that it has only been recently that I have invited pleasure into my life. I tend to deny myself the things I love. This is usually for a greater purpose, but it never works out how it should.

I take pleasure in unconventional things – for a girl anyway. I like action movies and video games. When I was in college, I went up with a Playstation, and I downloaded a bunch of old NES games on my computer. What this meant was that I never did homework. In order to get back on track, I began to deny myself the pleasure of playing these games and I took all the games off of my computer, as I felt they were wasting my life away. Was I more productive with my schoolwork? Of course not. I wasted my life away with other crap that I took less pleasure in.

I have always found real pleasure in certain food groups. I LOVE ice cream. I will never get sick of ice cream. I denied myself the pleasure of ice cream my entire second year of college. I was really good about it. I might have cheated once or twice, but I basically never had ice cream that year. It was rough, but I did it. Did I lose any weight that year from denying myself of my favorite treat? Of course not! Because I ate other crap instead! The other food I deny myself to this day is good breakfast cereal. Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Reese’s Puffs. That stuff is freaking GOOD. You can’t have one bowl without eating half the box. Okay, maybe I could now that I have more self control… or maybe not. That’s why I don’t eat it anymore! I deny myself that pleasure.

What I have learned is that denying yourself of your pleasures doesn’t work. You replace those pleasures with other things that don’t satisfy you as much, and the end result is the same. I still didn’t do my homework, and I still ate garbage and didn’t lose weight.

I have other pleasures that I have never denied myself. I love art and music. I also take pleasure in helping and influencing those around me. It feels good to know I can make an impact. That’s why I do my blog. Today I am grateful for opportunities I have had to influence people’s lives for the better.

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