The Pleasure Report. Week 2. The evening sky edition.

I might just have to tattoo 'pleasure is not an add on' somewhere. Because it is such a perfect, brilliant reminder of what is true'.
The Pleasure Reports are notes on the pleasure I found in my life each week. This purposeful focus on pleasure began in 2010. I was working with countless managers who were working themselves sick, our aim was to establish new ways of working that would not make them sick. And then realising that whilst ‘not sick’ might have been a good aim to start with, it was a terrible one to stop at. How about ways of working that are a pleasure?!  And so the study of pleasure began with The Pleasure Reports – a weekly record of -how many things were a pleasure -how many a pain and -what the pain to pleasure ratio was that week. I thought I’d do it for one year and ended up carrying on for three. You can read the whole story of how it began here and here.

Shall we do it again?

The pleasure, a selection from the week.
The pain, a selection from the week.
The pain that I did something about.

The pleasure

Twenty three points. It was sixteen right up until about five minutes ago then at the last minute they all turned up in a rush.
not sure of the significance, but here they are. Thirteen last week.
Noticing patterns, measurement…anything else we’ll do later as they emerge.

Back to the pleasure this week – a selection


Stimulating, encouraging conversation. It’s been good. The comments, calls and e-mails.
Things like, ‘pleasure has become a foreign concept and it’s so needed now’
And ‘I might just have to tattoo pleasure is not an add on’ somewhere. Because it is such a perfect, brilliant reminder of what is true’.
And ‘I want to expand the concept of pleasure to my whole life especially relationships’
And ‘I want to find authentic pleasures for me not what’s expected to be a pleasure’
And sending articles linked to integrity and trust and how necessary it is to have trust, if things are to be a pleasure.
This is just wonderful. It’s deeply satisfying to be talking about this stuff, with other interested people.

Support. From things and people.

The things…..
The sofa I sit on to write has a window behind my head, a radiator to the left and a view out of some french doors to the right.
I put a cushion behind my head and it blocks the draughts completely, the radiator…yes it radiates and the view provides moments of contemplation and beauty.
It’s possible for all that to pass me by and so I’m especially grateful this week that it all reached me and made me enjoy it. I’m grateful.
This is really what I was thinking about when I wanted pleasure woven right into the fabric of my days, not an add on after I’d finished working.
I was there, scribbling away, and then suddenly, I was still writing but was mostly just aware of how completely the sofa had got me and how there was no tension in my body. I wasn’t tensed up ready for something that wasn’t going to happen. My muscles were relaxed and I was warm. Then out to the right, there was a night sky managing to get my attention for a moment. This was the soft stomach I’d wanted with a view. That’s the view in the photo at the top.
The people…..
I was ready to put some remaining tech things that needed sorting onto the back burner as I didn’t know what to do about them when Joyce dropped in and offered her help with geek speak and now the tech thing is done.
Just like that.
Now that is truly heavenly and soft stomached.
And she called me a ‘brave techno-chickette explorer’ so I’ll be having a t-shirt printed up for my next brave techno exploring expedition.  I don’t quite know how she did it but she made it a pleasure for me to accept her help. She’s good.

The pain

Eighteen points. Nine last week.
It could be argued, and I would argue, that to feel more of everything is a good thing. To have doubled the number of not so great things in a week is not a problem and to be more fully alive is a pleasure. I don’t know what’s happening yet so I’ll wait and watch for now.

A selection of pain

Cat fights. In the living room, in the middle of the night. Snarling, hissing, biting and scratching. Fur everywhere. And some spraying….eugh. Small bald patch on my cat’s side. Oh poor baby.
Uncertain things multiplying. Last week there was that one thing that had been settled which had become unsettled and needed discussing again and an agreement reached again. That was bad.
And now there’s eight of them. And I’m kind of busy and haven’t really got time to give them the attention they need and so they’re lurking. Eugh.
Bored rigid. All the tech things are taking their toll. The navigating of the processes is so hard and so tedious that by the time I come to update the content I’d gone there to do there’s only zombie staring eyes and jutting jaw where I once was and aaaaaaagh. This needs more than my ‘brave techno-chickette explorer’ t-shirt. Down at the bottom of this post, there’s a little statement saying there are ‘no related posts’. There are. Lot’s of them, but it is sure that there aren’t. Have a look in the ‘pleasure’ category in the right hand sidebar….other categories too…lots of related posts. I’m not going to grind my teeth down about that.
I am going to need more Doris Lessing and to do only 10 minute tech slots followed by 20 minutes of Doris at a time.

The pain I did something about

I did do something about the cat fights. For five nights running, I let my cat out before going to bed, waited till she came back in then locked the cat flap for the night. Ha! Take that you snarling, spraying, biting intruder. We’re going to curl up and sleep peacefully.
Later in the week some women from the stables up the lane came round looking to see if anyone had lost a cat. There was a stray trying to move in and establish itself as the yard cat. They wanted to check it didn’t belong to anyone before they fed it and encouraged it to stay. I’m glad it’s got a home.

All in all

Significant increases in the noticed pleasure and pain. This might yet be a good thing.
Big moments of having a properly relaxed body whilst working. I’m quite beside myself about those, crystal glass chinking and soft red wine sipping and contented smiles.

How about you?

I’d love to hear from you in the comments.
Pleasure, pain, pain you did something about.


  1. Alison Clayton-Smith

    Hi Pauline

    You might be able to guess my main theme, from twitter and email conversation.


    Receiving cake samples for a product review I’m writing. Pleasure because, hey, I get to try all these different cakes. And also because this is my first bit of work experience which will hopefully lead me down a new career path.


    Not being able to enjoy the cake as much because I’m feeling lousy and don’t have an appetite. And not being able to invite people around to share cake – at the moment.
    Not being able to get on with things generally, including writing and work.

    Pain I’m doing something about

    Recognising that there is pleasure in legitimately not getting on with things and watching lots of daytime telly instead.


    • Pauline

      Career manoeuvred ….in the direction of cake, I’m impressed.
      AND joy at the pleasure of legitimately not doing. Double whammy!


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