Continuing the week's themes of equipping oneself with tools to make one feel good, today's focus is on life's little luxuries. These are the things we employ in our days that add refinement to living, not just the necessities. These are the items that add enormous pleasure, beauty, and indulgence to our mundane existence. These items need not cost a fortune, but they do enhance life and add immeasurably to our enjoyment.
Each list, though we may identify with others', is not universal, should be unique to you. Create a list of your 'little luxuries' that you count on to lift your spirits, boost your mood, and cannot do without.
The following is my list of "Life's Little Luxuries":
1. My hair - cut, color, product are all the finest I can afford and maintained painstakingly throughout the year. It may be costly compared to home processes, but my stylist is the professional who trained for years and keeps my hair healthy, soft, and gorgeous. If I am experiencing a bad hair day it deflates me. I know this is vain, but I dare say I am not alone in feeling this way. We must look in a mirror daily and present ourselves to the world. Why should I suffer with bad hair? I love myself too much for that!
2. With a nod to my good friend Buck Fever, baths definitely make my list. I do not get to luxuriate in a hot bath daily, but I do take several each month and relish each moment I sink into the bubbly concoction I create. Those instances revitalize me!
3. My cashmere wrap gifted to me from my children (thanks, Honey) for Christmas a few years ago. It is a black cable knit cashmere shawl/scarf that is warm, rich, soft, and large enough to cover me as a good wrap should. I live in this thing 3 seasons of the year and would adore one in another color just to expand my opportunities to wear it!
4. Sushi is a household favorite. Being it is rather expensive it is truly used for special occasions. My entire family - including our one year old daughter - loves Sushi so sometimes, "It's Saturday, it's a 'special occasion!'" works! It is a rare treat, but sushi is unabashedly adored...and devoured in this home.
5. Watching our favorite programs from television on the DVR (sans commercials) when we are available. No longer are we slaves to the programmers. If I am at Karate when Glee is on, I simply DVR it and watch it later when my children are asleep and my husband is situated on the couch next to me. I love Glee.
6. Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments are a category unto themselves. Fresh out of college I worked at a Hallmark Gold Crown store for a couple of years. When I worked there I could never afford the designer ornaments I sold. When our careers took off we started collecting a few ornaments selectively. Over the years we amassed a tremendous collection and can now decorate at least two or more trees with what we own. This is the first year we have not bought any (one of the many luxuries cut to make it through this dreadful economy). But we anticipate each year opening the boxes, adding the batteries to those that need them, and decorating with our prized Christmas gems. The children have their own and are so proud to place them lovingly on the tree. We have a theme some years to the trees while other years it is just a mish mosh. We always hang our Star Wars garland in the kitchen. It is quite impressive! Pictures will have to wait until we decorate this season! The children's favorite are the Peanuts ornaments that play "Linus and Lucy" and the aforementioned Star Wars ornaments.
7. Rides in the Daimler. With 3 kids I rarely get to ride in my husband's race car/street car, the Daimler SP250 Dart. This is one of my favorite things to do, especially because it means time alone with my husband. But as the children get older I know opportunity will present itself again.
8. Date night is one of the luxuries that I would also place in the 'necessities' category. I believe in keeping the relationship with my husband vital and a priority lest the children make us totally insane. Our relationship came first and I want it to be there when we have those rascals permanently out of the house, so I tend to the relationship often and well.
9. My computer is also teetering on the line between luxury and necessity, but I know we used to live without high speed internet at one time and even without computers, too! Spending time online writing, commenting, communicating, visiting, researching, and exploring is mind-blowing. I would hate to ever give it up!
10. Town & Country magazine is a favorite of mine. If you are unfamiliar, it is a magazine for the well-heeled in society. Those with the money, means, education, and class who can afford all of life's grand luxuries are written about and the target audience. I adore simply looking at the advertisements that feature the best jewelry designers in the world! I am a jewelry fanatic! That luxury, little, grand, or in-between, is one I can scarcely give up! Flipping through the pages of this beautifully crafted magazine makes me feel like I am part of the elite. The magazine came into my realm when I was a freshmen in college (1989) and my father called to tell me he and his car, a 1913 Zinn Buick, were featured in the October issue of Town & Country. I rushed out to buy my copy, read my father's article and admired his large picture printed in color, and then perused the rest of the magazine. That started a love affair with the periodical that has endured to this day. Only in the last year have I actually had a subscription; I used to buy one or two issues a year. Now I allow myself this little luxury.
Here is my list, quirky, silly, and uniquely mine. I urge you to create your own. Perhaps you have only 2 or 3 items on your list, maybe you have 25! Either way, leave your list (or do one on your own for personal consumption only) here and admire how well you allow yourself these luxuries that enhance your life. Value yourself, honor yourself, and take these facts to steel yourself against the stresses that may await with the approaching holiday season. I am no Scrooge; I adore the holidays, but even I know they test the best of us.
This week's focus is on what makes us feel good, join me as we continue to amass the list.