Each day is filled with little moments of luxury1. Yet we often let those moments pass without recognizing it. Today’s post is going to be short and sweet. Let’s get started.
What is a luxury?
Merriam-Webster has a couple different definitions of luxury. Let’s focus on this one: “something adding to pleasure or comfort but not absolutely necessary”. In other words, you’ll survive just fine without it, but it adds something nice to the moment.
It’s important to notice that in this definition of luxury, it hints that this is a feeling, more than an absolute state. What I mean is that in order to feel that something is a luxury, you have to know that it isn’t actually necessary. It implies a sense of gratitude or, perhaps, wonder.
These moments are easy to ignore and take for granted. It is easy to not notice the luxury, and move on. But if you take a moment and savour the luxuriousness… Well, now you have a life hack to enjoy many different things in the course of a day.
I invite you to pause throughout your day and notice the luxuries you experience.
My short list of little luxuries:
- The feeling of laying down in bed
This is especially true after a long day. But every day, there is that moment when I first crawl into bed and let all my muscles rest. Feeling the sheets and blankets slowly warm up from my body heat and create a warm and cozy cocoon around me.
- The first sip of tea
Ah, that first sip of tea in the morning. Lately, I’ve been loving Pu-erh tea. It’s rich and dark and a little bitter – very similar to good dark chocolate. It’s easy to think of it as simply a delivery system for caffeine, to not even notice the flavour. It is just as easy to let each sip be a mini-break in the day, and to savour the flavour.
- Wrapping up in a soft blanket
I tend to be cold, so there are blankets everywhere in my house. So whether I’m reading a book in the reading nook at the top of our stairs, or watching TV on the couch, or sitting at my computer writing, I have a blanket. Soft fleece blankets, or soft crocheted ones. Often, this is a habit. I sit down and I grab a blanket. So taking a second to actually feel the texture of the blanket and feeling gratitude for the person who made it or bought it for me, that is how I feel the luxury of it.
- Reading a book
I read and learn a lot online. But there is something special about feeling a physical book in my hands. The texture and weight. Then there is taking the time to allow myself to enter the book and absorb it. I set an intention to read more books this year. So it’s easy to feel obligated to read (or guilty if I haven’t for a little while). Pausing to ground myself in the physical nature of the book is how I feel the luxury of reading.
- Sitting down in my home office to write
I feel the moment of luxury in the moment I am set up to write, but before I start writing. Once I start writing, I am trying to figure out how to take what is in my brain and translate it into words that other people can understand. But in that moment before the writing, there is this sense that anything is possible. A wordless sense of gratitude. As with the other examples, it’s easy to go into task-master mode, or to focus on the goal of this working session. But pausing, to marvel at the possibilities that technology has enabled for me – that goes a long way. It brings a smile to my face and relaxes the tension I wasn’t even aware of in my neck and shoulders.
It is easy to let these moments pass us by. I do it daily. But taking that moment to acknowledge the luxury of it. The comfort and the pleasure. Knowing that it is not, strictly speaking, necessary but that it does add something special. These moments can be a reminder to be grateful for something in your life, to connect to a sense of wonder, or to savour the moment. And know that this, too, is a part of living the good life.
Let me know in the comments below: What are some of your little luxuries?
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- Hat tip to the Happier with Gretchen Rubin podcast in Episode 177 she talks about “What’s Luxury for You,” which planted the seed in my mind for this post