Editor’s Note: This post was written and scheduled before protests began in Minneapolis and St. Paul following the murder of George Floyd. We decided to publish this piece because for many of us, finding the small signs of goodness, even in the midst of so much suffering and unrest, is how we find the strength to keep going forward. Please know that in response to current events, we will do our best to adjust content whenever we can. This difference will be especially prominent on the Wit & Delight social media accounts, where we have a greater ability to shift content quickly and responsively. As always, continue to listen to, learn from, and support people of color. Stay safe.
Our physical world has contracted dramatically in recent months. Traditionally, this season of travel and leisure would look very different than it does right now. There would be road trips and pool parties and shared drinks and late nights swapping stories across a bonfire. The pleasure summer tends to provide—through both nostalgia and tradition—will leave a void that each of us will have to decide how to fill.
It isn’t easy to accept the loss of the things we look forward to all year, and it’s even harder to deal with what’s left without them. But as our team talked through what we would normally cover during our readers’ busiest time of the year, we discussed how the joy of the summer season itself isn’t actually gone. Instead, it’s open for us to reframe as we’d like.
That’s why we landed on this theme for the month: pleasure.
Pleasure itself is a sense of simple satisfaction—it doesn’t really require much.
While our need for the emotional support that connection provides will only intensify with the passing of graduation dates and nostalgic summer memories, pleasure itself is a sense of simple satisfaction—it doesn’t really require much.
To me, pleasure is the juice of a perfectly ripe watermelon sliding down my chin; it’s listening to my children’s belly laughs; it’s feeling the hot sun on my skin. It’s an open calendar, the crack of a book spine, and realizing the only thing I have to do for a period of time is enjoy myself.
This month, our contributors will be writing about why the fleeting things in our life give us joy. They’ll be exploring hacks that can lead to a happier marriage, and reasons to masturbate more often. I’ll be writing about how I learned to dress for my own comfort and enjoyment first (and about home topics, too). We can’t wait to share these posts and more with you this month.
Oddly enough, using pleasure to reframe how we hold on to the joy of this season can unlock some old forgotten thoughts, challenging how we may remember “joyful” experiences as absolutely miserable. How will we remember this summer? Will it be fearful and anxious? Or will it be the summer we were able to unlock what we actually like to do with our time? Will it be the summer we slowed down enough to be OK with doing nothing? What lies on the other side of giving into pleasure for pleasure itself?
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