The Pleasure Report. Week 26. The goodbye tense stomach edition.

I seem to have managed to sever the link between the 'not enough time' or 'things are not ok' messages and my stomach muscles.

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.

Week 26 in the year of pleasure. Half way through.

Woo hoo. Half way through!

Six months of pleasure.

Six months of paying close attention to it and writing about it in public.

I’m now a happy and dedicated follower of pleasure.

How has it been for you darling?

I’m chucking out the usual format this week.

The half way point, I’ve decided, is time for a look at how it’s going instead.

A bit of celebratory summertime Prosecco rather than the week in, week out, Vin de Table.


So how is it going?

How would you measure pleasure?

For the record this week

Pleasure 72 points, 49 last week

and a 24:1 pleasure to pain ratio

which is a record number of pleasure points.

Seriously though, how would you measure pleasure?

I’m not really in love with statistics or dates or numbers.

I mean….I even have to check afresh each time anyone asks me how old I am.

Quality wins over quantity every time with me.

So including numbers in the year of pleasure was an unusual approach for me to take and I included them not so as to judge the quantity as enough or not enough, but because normally I wouldn’t pay any attention to them and I wanted to be open to seeing patterns I might not otherwise see.

Seem fair enough?

My plan just to observe, pay attention, notice and generally be mindful of pleasure this year…what form would that take. Numbers?

I had some resistance to including them initially.

The resistance turned out to be about how numbers and targets in my previous lives have been used as the only measure of success and how if the numbers targets were met, everyone was happy regardless of the harder to measure human cost of achieving them.

With my resistance understood I was happy to include numbers, knowing I wouldn’t use them that way and could allow me to see what I might otherwise not have.

Nice bit of untangling your resistance there Mrs

Why thank you. It was a pleasure. I love a good bit of untangling.

How is it going then?

Half way through and I’m looking at the figures, and surprisingly, I am finding them interesting.

And, not really surprisingly, given that anything you focus on grows, the pleasure has been going up.

But, surprisingly, not just a wee bit, but huge great leaps.

The pleasure to pain ratio for example

Feb        2:1  pleasure to pain ratio

March  2:1

April     7:1

May     17:1

June   30:1

July    42:1 (July one more week to go but results so far)

And I’m completely sure I wouldn’t have realised that without measuring in this way.

‘So what of it?’ is of course the next question but without the figures I wouldn’t have seen it and wouldn’t be asking the question.

And it makes me smile just seeing that pleasure in my life is increasing substantially.

I will look into the matter of ‘what of it’, this substantial pleasure increase. Later.

Another measure.

Another measure was to do with just how tightly clenched my stomach was on an ongoing basis.

Though I still have some ‘not enough time’ messages running around my head that need some unravelling, they’re no longer connected to my stomach.

I seem to have managed to sever the link between the ‘not enough time’ or ‘things are not ok’ messages and my stomach muscles.


Very nice indeed!

I have a little bit of tension to do with the big unsettling stuff about where we want to live and associated things to organise but that’s event specific and understandable.

It was the everpresent, even when things are fine, tension I was looking to let go of and I seem to have done it.

Oh yes…another little ‘Woo Hoo’ is definitely in order. Maybe even some streamers. And a balloon.

The part that I didn’t anticipate.

Was the February Miracles where I discovered that it’s not just a theory that things really don’t have to be hard work and that I really can drop the struggle.

How about you?

Have you a sense of how it’s been for you this year so far?

I’d love to hear how it’s been…..what do you reckon…increased pleasure? Decreased? Better quality?

Please….please do come and write about that in the comments.

What’s next


I’m going to keep going with the numbers and see where they go and the next thing I’m going to take a look at, I think, is the needs behind the pleasures.

And look for patterns there.

So, for example, a good walk.

I love a good walk, it’s a real pleasure.  But what’s the thing mostly that I’m getting from that…… a physical thing?to feel my body move and stretch, or is it more about the air, getting fresh air, or closeness?

I never walk by myself, always with my gentlemanfriend. We walk very well together….same sort of pace, same sort of amount of stopping and peering closely at things, same sort of stamina and same sort of wonder at the beauty of things up close.

We know we have to add another hour onto estimated times for walks in books for our gazing.

I’ve not seen that listed anywhere as an important compatibility point to look for, but it’s crucial.

Somebody add walking compatibility to dating compatibility lists.

The needs then ….

I think when I look for the needs, I’m going to pick out the things that most regularly feature on my lists of pleasure, then take the most frequent ones and delve a bit to see what it is I’m getting from them, what need is getting met…..and see what I can learn from that about what’s most important for me when it comes to keeping my stomach unclenched.

I’ll probably do that when I’m on holiday in September.

There will be pleasure reports then, just not from me.

I decided that I’d like a complete holiday, one where there was nothing I had to do, (heaven, heaven, heaven), so I have a couple of people lined up to do their own pleasure reports while I’m away from the blog.

There will be other times when I’m away, so if you’d like to write a pleasure report another time, let me know, I’ll fill you in on the ‘how to’s’ and we can pick a slot that suits you.

Send me an email pauline (at) withintegrity (dot) co (dot) uk  type it in as a normal email address, all the brackets are just to discourage spammers.

Some lovely #itsapleasure ‘s this week from The Pleasure Posse on twitter which I’ll carry over to next week.

Back to tradition.

Even though this weeks post didn’t include my pleasure report doesn’t mean you can’t.

As usual, in the comments, feel free

Your pleasure, pain and pain you did something about.


  1. Alison Clayton-Smith

    Mmm, pleasure to pain ratio this year..not sure. Overall I’d say less pain because of the reassessing work focus and not travelling as much (and literally less physical pain). However, still getting caught in old patterns. As I was heard to say recently, I know rationally what I’m meant to do, it’s just my brain won’t think like that when things are on the slide. However, I have yet again renewed commitment to being mindful, so we shall see.

    The needs that I know underlie some of the pleasure things for me are: need for contemplation and intellectual stimulation, need for freedom (i.e. no on else telling me what to do and no ‘shoulds’), need for fun now rather than looking to the future, need for appreciation and acknowledgement, and a need to know that there is more than this/me (walking helps with that – appreciating everything around me and putting things in perspective).

    Have a nice weekend.

  2. Pauline

    Oh I get your need for fun *now* rather than looking to the future.
    I think that’s what mainly drives me in the year of pleasure….that pleasure is woven right in rather than something that comes at the end of something……that it’s there in everything.
    Big hopes.


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