on the power of satisfaction
no need to travel
I never want to be in an airplane again.
No. I’m not afraid of flying. I just do not need, nor have any desire to travel.
Some of you ‘worldly’ readers may balk at this idea. I’ve heard people protest that those who travel have an expanded worldview, experience greater compassion and can be more creative. Though I admit, I’ve loved my overseas journeys, since the pandemic, I’ve kicked the travel habit for good.
Travel is an addiction. Many regular travelers that I know can’s settle in. They become squirrely, dissatisfied and even cagey at times. Regular travelers are regularly dissatisfied. Some are so bold to assert that their dissatisfaction is a good thing. It isn’t.
They travel to ignite their curiosity. Driven further for more novelty, they become intoxicated with stories of images on gallery walls, exotic foods or spectacular palaces. Travelers love to talk about, that cool shop, the witty waiter or the stressful series of misadventures that culminated in almost missing a flight.
I know of something better. There are those who profit from our wanderlust, those who farm our dissatisfaction. They work in marketing. It’s their job to create tension in our hearts - a tension between what our life is like and a beautiful dream that they create in images in stories. Marketers would like our lives pale in comparison to the global traveler.
Not necessarily. We can put up a wall against the marketers and block them out. The wall I call satisfaction. Satisfaction is a superpower. These days however, we barely take the time to let out contented sighs and delight in the goodness all around us.
I don’t need to travel because within fifty miles of my home there exists an entire solar system. Within fifty miles of my home I have four seasons, endless lakes, ocean beaches, forests and rivers. There are hundreds of thousands of other people, dogs, cats and other creatures just waiting to be encountered.
Every day, the sun rises and sets. The universe creates masterpieces twice daily more spectacular than anything at the Louver at a much better price. Experiencing the vastness of the universe and the minuteness of our existence is a daily embodied delight. That pang of pain, of knowing that I’m merely a blip, less significant to the universe than the bacteria in my guts is just enough of a message to lean in and hold closer those I love.
Best of all, under the roof of my house, in the arms of the people I love, I have something more vast and grand than the universe that no one else could possess. There, I experience my unique pleasure and joy to be alive. I connect with these other wonderful remarkably foolish creatures. I feel their presence with me and sigh with satisfaction.
Satisfaction as the antidote to chronic consumer capitalism.
Sitting at home by a fire, doing the ordinary things is unremarkable, inexpensive and deeply satisfying. We are safe. We are warm. We are free. What else could you need? The pleasure of a warm fire isn’t the kind of commodity that sells well on the socials.
The ability to be satisfied comes from the ability to allow yourself to experience the delightful subtle pleasure of merely being alive. Each breath, every smile, all the moments together are a gift.
Pleasure is a light in the dark. Light up subtle pleasures without shame. Find delight in what you have. Enjoy the bounty of existence without guilt. Because the, guilt, the regret and the FOMO? That’s how they control you.
What’s your most subtle pleasure?
How do you experience satisfaction?
When do you take the time to be satisfied?
If you can, light a fire tonight. Stare into the flames like countless humans before you.
Hold on to those you love with gratitude.
Gratitude is the glue.
And let the subtle bliss of satisfaction warm you and yours this Christmas eve.