A Chew Toy A Day (Today’s Simple Pleasure)

Because I’m spending all my time at home, my dog has relaxed into a routine of playing with his toys more frequently in the afternoon than he previously did. He will chase a ball briefly and loves to “kill” certain toys. I purchased two new ones for him and they were delivered today. Before I could even remove the tags, he stole a small fox plush with a squeaker and ran off in delight. He has been playing with it for hours now and is semi-seriously guarding it when I get near. The joy and excitement it has brought him is making me smile from ear to ear and was well worth the money spent. I also bought him a small bull plush toy and he is loving gnawing on its ears. It was hard to judge the size and feel of each toy through a computer screen, so I’m pleasantly surprised at how well they have been received. If you have a pet, what is its favorite toy?

A Cozy Spot (Today’s Daily Remembrance)

My Daily Remembrance cards contain several prompts related to “what is at the intersection of…” which I’ve been skipping over as the questions feel too weighty and frankly confusing (even though I was the one who created them!). Today’s draw, however, was about the confluence of excitement and boredom, which I feel up for tackling. The answer, as my first pass, would be comfort and a safe coziness.

Excitement carries the potential for challenge and risk, which I tend to shy away from as much as possible. I rely on social interaction as my primary source of excitement, but it tends to quickly escalate into feeling overwhelmed and overstimulated. I have, however, had a few times in recent memory where things felt too static and that there was too little excitement.

Boredom comes for me also in many social settings; once I pass a certain point of too much activity happening around me, my brain goes into a lower gear and I feel immensely underwhelmed and disinterested in connection. Music pumping, lots of physical movement in a crowded space or many people all talking at once leads me to check out.

Even though I need little sensory information coming at me in order to feel satiated, I require a constant stream of mental engagement. I want to be learning something new and challenging my perception of the world as deeply as I can every day. My capacity to take in this type of stimulation–the intellectual/perception kind–is much higher than my external-stimuli processing one.

My dream, then, I suppose, would be a place where I could engage in both internal and external conversations, through writing, art and verbal communication, in a laid-back, soothing environment. Coffee-shops, especially large ones with lots of furniture choices, fit me perfectly and are where I’ve had some of my best fits in terms of high mental stimulation/low sensory input environments. Where I live now is unfortunately rather bereft of such places, and instead most of the art and well-being focused events are centered around alcohol (painting + wine, yoga + beer, etc.).

I have some down-time coming up in the next few weeks for the holidays, and I need to make visiting coffee-shops a priority. The coziness, the blending of not too much excitement with not too boring, should be nice. I also find a similar environment in art shops and museums. What places in your life do you find fit your need for stimulation best? Are you an adrenaline-seeker or low-key? Do you require more intellectual or sensory input to feel filled up?