Tuesday, August 22, 2006

l-u-x-u-r-y

What is luxury? I had an email from a British friend who, after heightened security measures came into effect in England recently, considered it a luxury to be allowed to bring a book onto a plane. It is strange how the idea of luxury changes with ones circumstances. When I was growing up, a television and a dishwasher were luxury items. Now I have more tv’s than residents in my house and a dishwasher is not a negotiable item if you talk to my husband (insert smiley face).

Three meals a day are considered luxury in many parts of the world, yet to many of us in countries like Canada, a day without a chocolate bar or a trip to Tim Hortons or Starbucks is cause for feeling deprived. Over time, the commonness of things seems to make them less of a luxury item and the inverse is true as well: handwritten letters have become more of a luxury and email a necessity. Cars are a vital part of our lives and a long walk is luxury. Hand-made items are more valuable than mass-produced goods (it used to be that hand-made goods meant you could not afford store-bought items). Sleeping in a tent and cooking over a fire are considered leisure activities while a master bedroom with an ensuite bathroom virtually mandatory for a middle class family.

So this made me start thinking about what I consider luxury in my life and what its place is. Is extravagance ever a good thing in my life? The short answer is yes, I believe we all need extravagance in our lives – love is the best extravagance of all, and no one can have too much of that. The problem is, we have often confused luxury with material possessions. Extravagant living is not at all about what you have – it is about how much enjoyment you get out of things. Here is a little list I made. Perhaps you want to make your own.

Matte’s luxuries (things that make me feel rich, but I can do without if I have to)
1. an ice cream cone from Dairy Queen
2. handmade kettle corn from a street vendor
3. reading a book in the sunshine
4. a phone call from faraway friends
5. a walk in the woods
6. going out for a meal with people I like
7. people praying for me and not stopping after 5 minutes
8. Kate’s popcorn with real butter
9. my mom’s little blueberry pastries
10. someone telling me they love me every day
11. having someone to whom I can say “I love you” every day
12. seeing the ocean
13. driving through mountains
14. sleeping till I am not tired anymore
15. learning something new
16. photographs of good memories
17. playing music
18. the touch of someone dear to me
19. being generous
20. being healthy

Have a luxurious day…

No comments: