Supersize the Pleasure - But Hold the Guilt, Please!


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Deadlines, daily family dilemmas, and organizational duties. . . our lives fill with routines and pressure driven activities. At this very moment I contemplate a to-do list that will take me all day and into the night. My office mess surrounds me and my team members await my response to various questions. In times like this, we forget to make room for pleasure.

Pleasure is related to humor…that precious gift that all of us can experience but often forget to initiate or use as a life tool. (We all have a sense of humor, right? It was part of our original equipment!) And yet, humor includes fun, amusement, playfulness, wit, celebration, storytelling, games, comedy, and appears in many media and experiences. It heals, rejuvenates, empowers, and connects. It can even be sexy.

A few years ago, I decided to write down on a piece of paper every pleasurable experience during my workday. By the end of the day, there were only 3 things listed and two of them were about eating desserts!

What an eye opener! I knew that I had better find some pleasures that weren't edible. The next day, I picked a rose for my desk, then smelled it frequently just so I could add it to my list. A few hours later, I took a break and nuzzled my dog. By the end of the week, my daily list of pleasures had soared to 30.

Recently I came across a pleasure list that I comprised for couples who wanted more pleasure in their marriages. I share it now as a prompt for ways you might add pleasure to your own life whether you are married or single.

It is especially important to make time for pleasure when you are financially stressed, or going through emotionally difficult times. Review your pleasures at the end of the day…and you have created a gratitude list! What a wonderfully rich way to go to sleep.

Purchase or create a family award. Present it with pomp and circumstance. (This works at the office, too!) I carry ours out on a red pillow.

Post a wish list before your birthday. Include offbeat suggestions. Get outrageous.

Maintain a bulletin board for favorite cartoons.

Have lunch with girlfriends and ask each one to share a favorite indulgence.

Make a list of people who make you laugh. Spend time with them regularly.

Tell old stories about funny incidents with relatives. Reminisce.

Splurge on some really nice sheets.

Give yourself a medal whenever you feel like it. Or wear a glitzy piece of jewelry as a medal. Tell people why you are celebrating your courage or a triumph.

Keep a journal of funny stories, jokes, incidents from your life.

Write job reminders for kids or spouses as silly poems…stick them on mirrors.

Give silly treats and presents. Hide them in office drawers, under a pillow, etc.

Develop your wit. Join a Toastmasters Club. Attend the Humorous Speech Contest. Enter it!

Enjoy live theater.

Play music when you eat your lunch.

Read anything by SARK.

Take your sweetheart to dinner and announce that you have a heart sticker somewhere under your clothing.

Have something delivered to your spouse or partner's office.

Rent a bicycle built for two.

Enjoy the decadence of hors d'oeurves in the bathtub.

Speaking of bathtubs…. remember Bull Durham? Have your toes painted in a bubble bath with candlelight.

Stay at an Inn that has mystery weekends.

Design a costume for your pet. Enter a contest (pet stores have them. )

Go out to dinner and celebrate the most minor of successes.

Tease and compliment your partner. Share an “ultimate dessert. "

Find a bookstore with big, comfortable chairs. Indulge in books that delight you.

Add to this list…. see what happens when you try 3 ideas in one week.

Make a pleasure item part of your daily to-do list.

© Ana Tampanna

Ana Tampanna, “The Alligator Queen, " is author or the “The Womanly Art of Alligator Wrestling. " To learn more about her books in addition to her speaking and coaching services, visit her site at


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