Understanding What He Meant By “Hedonist”

Do you like visiting castles, stately homes, palaces and places of historical interest? Goldfinch has taken me to National Trust properties several times…I must say I have loved our trips.  I told him the other day, “I like to think of these visits as “house-hunting”.

This weekend we were in Buckinghamshire and we paid our respects to Claydon House.

claydon

Months ago, Goldfinch told me something about himself that I did not really understand. He labelled himself a “hedonist”.  I was a bit taken aback.  To me that word does not have a connotation I think my father would approve of.  “Hi, Dad, I would like you to meet the man I am in love with, he is a hedonist! Isn’t that spiffing?”

I have often pondered over what on earth Goldfinch means when he describes himself as a hedonist.  You see he doesn’t drink alcohol except on a rare occasion.  Neither does he drink tea or coffee.  I ply him with water and juice when he comes to visit me.  I have occasionally seen him order a Coca-cola in a pub – but that’s not a marked sign of hedonism is it?

He does not smoke or use any substances that alter the mind or give an artificial high. He plays badminton, occasionally squash.  He draws and paints.  He is a serious gamer – and I don’t mean the gambling kind – I am talking about board-games like “Dominion”. He likes the cinema.  He likes music.  He likes travelling and hiking.  He likes my home-cooking (brave man) and all the cakes I have baked for him.  He is also a hard worker. All of these are great interests, but none of them strike me as synonymous with hedonism.

This weekend I finally grasped what drives Goldfinch.

IMG_20180722_133924

He here is indulging in pleasure seeking at it’s best!

There was a mulberry tree and as soon as Goldfinch saw he was excited.  He was eating the fruit right off the tree and picking perfectly ripe berries and placing them in between my lips.  He had red juice all over his fingers and all over his mouth.

He was glowing with pleasure!  Today I saw a little boy who  grew up with a mulberrymulberry jam tree in his back garden and was intoxicated with the pleasure the mulberry fruit brought him.

The latest treat I am sending in the post, wrapped in several layers of bubble wrap – mulberry jam.

You will probably concur with the definition of HEDONIST I found online: “a person who believes that the pursuit of pleasure is the most important thing in life; a pleasure-seeker”.

I don’t consider myself a hedonist.  I enjoy pleasure, but it is definitely not the most important thing in life to me.  I consider joy as superior to pleasure.  Joy sometimes results from having to say no to what may seem pleasurable for sound and wise reasons. My parents taught us to focus on a long-term view and how to reap joy and deep satisfaction from being able to look back at persistent efforts and have no regrets or troubled conscience.  My parents emphasised the need for balance.  So a word like “hedonism” seemed an assault with the mindset we have cultivated.

Goldfinch knows how to relax.  He knows how to enjoy life.  He is willing to try new things and is adventurous.  If he doesn’t see any harm in something and he thinks it will likely be pleasurable, he will give it a try.

Seeing Goldfinch intoxicated by the pleasure the mulberry tree gave him, made me fall in love with him all over again.  I told him as we walked along hand-in-hand, “Until today I never really understood what you mean when you described yourself as a hedonist.”  I asked him later when we were relaxing in the park together: “Would you like to live forever?”

Now that I have seen how Goldfinch lives his life – unshackled by bad habits I would normally associate with hedonists, but rather, making the most of his time away from work.  Enjoying life and creation and letting the pleasure ripple through him.  I like it.  I am not ashamed of his kind of hedonism at all!

pleasure (2)pleasure (3)

 

 

And The Verdict Is: Not-Guilty!

After yet another shaky morning, I had to go hospital again. I had so many plans for Monday…and most of them had to be postponed. Yet…it’s a necessary part of my life right now. The NHS are doing their best to keep me alive and kicking, and free to enjoy life’s many pleasures. So really it is incumbent upon me to make sure I do enjoy life – is it not!

This is my SHARE-YOUR-WORLD post for this week and here is the original post from Melanie, creator of sparksfromacombustiblemind:

https://sparksfromacombustiblemind.com/2019/03/18/share-your-world-3-18-19/

pleasure

QUESTIONS

Do You Have Any Guilty Pleasures?

It’s so rare that I buy a packet of vegetable crisps, I don’t feel any guilt at all when I do buy a bag and devour them after a long day at work. That’s not my only pleasure in life! Far from it…but I have a bag of vegetable crisps in the cupboard. I am just not hungry enough to eat them yet.

pleasure (2)pleasure (3)

I try not to feel guilty about pleasures, because life should be a pleasure. But I think that in order to enjoy life properly you ought to be balanced. Work is a wonderful part of life, and I find it very satisfying. Sleep and rest are vital and without them, you would not be very productive during your working hours. It’s very important to have some time for things you enjoy, things that refresh you and energise you or help you relax and de-stress.

With regards food…well, as long as you are balanced, there should be room for treats. To me food is like fuel. If you are going to burn off the calories you put into your body, then enjoy them. But if you are not active and want to sit on the sofa in front of the television eating crisps and cake – well…I don’t know if it’s guilt you should feel, but it’s not showing appreciation for your body. I love food. If I feel I have eaten more than I should, I try to be a bit more active, use the stairs instead of the elevator, or squeeze in a brisk walk whenever I can. So I am not going to feel guilty about the rare bag of vegetable crisps that are my favourite treat.

Are there any pleasures I feel guilty about? Not really. I work hard. Most of the work I do is unpaid, as a volunteer. The pleasures I enjoy are generally simple inexpensive pleasures – and they are an important part of my life. I take enormous pleasure in creation. There is nothing so delightful to me as having the time to wander down country lanes, breathing in the aromas of spring and summer and feeling the warmth of the sun on my skin. Nothing so wonderful as sitting high up on the sand dunes on the National Trust beach near Formby, and watching the sun set. Nothing as romantic as lying in the grass wrapped up in the arms of the man I love, counting white clouds travel across the blue sky.

What Is The Worst Pick Up Line You Ever Heard?  

I think the pick up lines that were the worst were the ones I did not understand, because I was an innocent. When I was younger so much went over my head. From the perfectly polite “do you want to get your coat now?” (I didn’t understand what the guy meant, I thought he was telling me to go and sit back down with my friends, where my coat was)…to some overtly suggestive lines, which I did not understand because frankly, I am a princess and my mind is not like the filthy gutter-snipes who were chatting me up. There have been times when the breakdown in communication resulted in me wandering off, simply because I was baffled.

I like men to be straight, not to mess around with clever lines. If they like me, they just need to say that they are enjoying themselves and would like to spend more time with me. But for me safety is a huge huge issue. Especially after the crime I was victim of. I need to feel safe and to trust a man. Goldfinch made me feel safe. Goldfinch just made it clear that he liked my company and would like to spend more time with me. It wasn’t complicated. And being treated like a princess – I’m not talking about anything over-the-top, just opening doors for me, helping me on with my coat, and holding my hand or linking my arm when we are walking together…all those gestures make me feel I am safe.

What Slang Or Trend Makes You Feel Old?

I don’t feel old yet. I am not very up-to-date with technology, but that is a deliberate choice. The only thing that sometimes makes me feel old is when I refer to something that a young person has never heard of. Last week, I said to someone that the task I had to do at work was like a Krypton Factor challenge. They did not have a clue what I was talking about!

What Do You Consider The Most Over-rated Song?

I don’t know. I guess there are songs that seem to have way too much air-time on the radio. But I rarely listen to the radio. It’s only two afternoons a week when I arrive at work when the radio is on. As soon as my manager has left, I turn the radio off, because I can’t concentrate on my work with the music and chatter on in the background.

There is a song that Jack and his friends used to sing at me – and I mean at me. I never understood why he decided it was the anthem to attribute to his connection with me. I heard it so many times. I have walked into parties, functions, training meetings and charity events and heard Jack’s friends start to whistle it, or hum it or even play the song on one of their phones, as soon as I was near. A couple of Jack’s colleagues confessed they had put together a playlist for Jack of songs that told the story of him and I. I was so fed up of it all. I did like this song, before Jack and his friend’s decided to attach it to my presence:

Instead of a Tender Mercies question, here’s a philosophical one instead:

You Find A Book And Begin To Read Only To Discover That It Is Your Life. You Get To The Point That You Are At Now, Do You Turn The Page Knowing That You Will Not Be Able To Change The Events To Come?

The next page is blank. My future life has not happened yet. It is not written down because anything might happen. There are decisions I can make that will effect my future life. Although there are major events on the world scene that are written down (the future of the United Nations, the religious, political and commercial empires of this world), the details of my life and the choices I will make are not written down.

I have free will, which plays a major role in determining how my life will turn out. It is largely up to me to write my own life story, rather than feeling it has already been written for me. There are situations that may occur which nobody could predict, as I know from experience. How I react to them is part of my life-story.