To my mind, there are several different categories of pleasure. This is important to differentiate for me. Much of my recent writing has revolved around heavy subjects and it is important for one’s health to take time out periodically to appreciate the pleasures of life.
My job, for all it is not very inspiring at the moment, has its own pleasure. The pleasure of a monotonous, boring, rarely important job nevertheless executed with professionalism and punctualness. Not up to the pleasure of an artist or even decent craftsman looking at a completed work, but not bad.
Likewise, I have been able to do a great deal of reading and learning. This brings its own pleasure as new ideas and the relationship between previously disparate facts take shape and illume my mind. Similar to this type of pleasure is the ability to truly practice piety, to study God’s Word and follow a regular schedule of devotions, something heretofore unknown to me.
But, the pleasure I most treasure right now are the simple, physical ones. They do not require much in the way of mental energy and they do not produce anything useful, but the set the tone for the rest, allowing me to put all my other efforts into perspective. Unfortunately, most of those physical pleasures are denied me right now. The noble hops, the ancient whisky, the warm, inviting arms of my wife, all withheld from me in another world. All that is left to me is the Noble Leaf. So, most every day at four I retire to a secluded corner and smoke a good cigar. I am becoming quite the connoisseur. My personal preference is for a dark, oily Maduro, torpedo in shape, long and thick in ring gauge. This simple pleasure, usually alone but at least 2-3 times a week in convivial company sets my heart at ease. It allows me to shed my irritations, smoothes my emotions and prevents me strangling certain cretins with their own innards.
Cigars are not for everyone. But I highly recommend them and, if not that, I highly recommend developing something , some small pleasure, for yourself. Something complex enough that, with a little study, you can pass beyond the level of initiate in. Something that brings you pleasure. Something that inspires good conversation with pleasant company.
Even Jesus seems to have been rather fond of wine….