Simple Indulgences

Happy New Year! Instead of waiting until the new year to make resolutions, I set goals throughout the year. As someone who exerts a fair amount of self-control, especially when it comes to my diet, I appreciate indulging in life’s simple pleasures.

Here’s a list of 10 simple indulgences or pleasures I enjoy all year:

    1. Hiking – My natural state is hiking up a mountain with my favorite person in the spring, fall and winter.

      Christy Cushing in Tillamook State Forest, Oregon.

    2. Reading books – Learning new things and sharing what I learn makes me happy. Secretly I love the way the ink and pages smell in an actual book. There’s nothing like losing yourself reading a great book with a cup of tea.
    3. Haircuts – Getting my hair cut is one of my favorite thing in life. I’ve been blessed with very straight fine hair, that also feels heavy and tangles easily. As a means to “control” my hair, I prefer to keep it short and thin.
    4. Skiing in knee deep powder is my pure bliss. Floating on top of the dry powder snow as I ski down the mountain feels powerful. It’s also wonderful to marvel at the natural beauty of the snowy mountains as they sparkle in the sun.
    5. Teasing my two cats – Adopting two adult cats from the humane society a year after my nickel food allergy diagnosis helped shift some of my attention to caring for these two additions to our family. Pepper and Gary love to play hide and go seek, with stuffed mice and they love to run in circles while they chase a piece of string on a stick.

      Pepper & Gary love to play.

    6. Playing board games – Growing up in a family who enthusiastically played board games constantly, this continues to be an indulgence that makes me happy. While in elementary school, my brother and I would wake up early and play cards with our Mom nearly every morning before we had to leave to catch the bus. Often we wouldn’t finish the game in the morning, but leave the cards on the dinner table to return to after school. Even as an adult I have two shelves full of classic games and new games I play regularly with my partner and friends. Some of my favorite games include Clue, Yahtzee, Sequence, Mastermind, Taboo, Skipbo, Machi Koro, Ticket to Ride, Blokus, Hearts and Qwirkle. If you love playing board games and visit Portland, Oregon I encourage you to check out the Interactive Museum of Gaming and Puzzlery in the western suburb of Beaverton. The museum owns over 5,000 games or the largest collection of games in the world and you can play whatever you pick out!
    7. Sushi – Just give me a reason to celebrate and you’ll find me at my favorite sushi restaurant. I think eating sushi releases special endorphins in my brain, as I feel absolutely amazing after eating a couple of fresh sushi rolls. I eat tuna, yellow tail, salmon and fish eggs, while avoiding anything with shrimp and crab (even imitation crab). As a precaution I also always ask for the sauces on the side and no sesame seeds. I enjoy eating my sushi with ginger, sriracha sauce and the honey vinaigrette, but don’t eat the eel sauce as it contains soy sauce.

      Sushi with no sesame seeds and all the sauces on the side.

    8. Massages – I internalize stress in my muscles. Experiencing both neck and shoulder pain from time to time, these areas are more prone to uncomfortable deep tight muscle knots. Nothing is better than receiving a relaxing massage focused on releasing the stress and undoing these knots. Taking my own lotion for the massage therapist to use also allows me to fully relax by preventing me from wondering if my skin will become inflamed from any of their skin products.
    9. Binging on Netflix – Reading the news, our household TV only streams content from Netflix or Amazon. Like so many others, I love to watch back to back episodes of certain TV series. I’ve always been a fan of fictional shows about forensics, politics, the law and relationships. My favorite shows include Six Feet Under, The Good Wife, CSI Las Vegas, Parenthood, Stranger Things and Brain Dead.
    10. Online Clothes Shopping – I’ve never been one to relish the activity of shopping. When I go to any physical commercial store, I have an idea of what I want or a list and I seek help from staff so I can quickly finish. The only exception is grocery shopping, as I the act of picking out and purchasing food. Before eccomerce, using a dressing room to try on multiple sets of clothes saturated in toxic chemicals would irritate my eczema. Online clothes shopping provides me great relief and satisfaction because I know the size and fit of my favorite companies, honest reviews aid in selection, the costs seem more transparent and the return process is simple.

I’d love to hear about your simple pleasures or indulgences that make you happy in the comment box below.