I'm not really sure what gives me pleasure anymore. But I'm not the only one who has this problem. I'm in the middle of reading Eat, Pray, Love, and Elizabeth Gilbert writes about her inability to "relax into sheer pleasure." When she is in Italy, she eventually comes to the realization that all she wants to do in Italy is "to eat beautiful good food and to speak as much beautiful Italian as possible."
At this point in my life, I don't have the luxury of going to on a trip by myself to figure out what I really want to do, to find out what makes me happy and gives me pleasure. I take yoga because it makes my mind and body feel good, but I'm not sure I'd describe all the stretching and all those shaking muscles as pleasurable. Any other free time I have is filled with tasks or chores. If it's not, I feel like I'm wasting time. That is probably why I have such a hard time just sitting in a comfortable chair and reading. Waste. Of. Time.
I used to gain pleasure out of walking in the Marin Headlands every morning with my dogs. It was my favorite part of the day. But I don't have dogs anymore. I don't have mornings to myself either. I used to gain pleasure out of backpacking with my spouse and sleeping in a tent. I don't have the luxury of going out of town sans children. I enjoy writing. Or I should say, I like the finished product, of feeling that I accomplished something. But I'm not sure I would describe the whole process as pleasurable.
Really pleasurable things probably don't have a purpose outside of being pleasurable. Eating chocolate. Sipping lattes. Soaking up the warm sun from a hammock. Sleeping late. I think I'll start brainstorming on how I can take more trips without kids, to explore pleasant things, and to do things for no other reason than they might be enjoyable.