An Affordable Luxury
I started to write this blog with this thought: We all have luxuries. Some people have fancy yachts and other people take a bubble bath. But then I thought is a bubble bath really a luxury? What exactly is a luxury? I looked up the definition in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary and what I read did not exactly fit in with my definition. Their definition goes like this:
- a condition or situation of great comfort, ease, and wealth
- something that is expensive and not necessary
- something that is helpful or welcome and that is not usually or always available
Certainly a yacht could provide great comfort, ease and cost a bunch. It certainly is not necessary. I am not sure if it is helpful or welcome and I suppose it could or could not be usually or always available. A bubble bath can provide great comfort and ease but it is not really that expensive, but certainly it is more expensive than a shower. It isn’t really necessary to take a bubble bath, it can be helpful and welcome and it may or may not be usually or always available.
That’s the thing about definitions. It is hard to have them be 100% on the money all the time. I think there are some luxuries only a few can afford and some we all can afford. Most of us are not going to get that yacht, but most of us can take that bubble bath now and then. There are a couple of affordable luxuries I want to promote. In my definition of luxury I include time. Time is something we all have, but none of us know how much of it we have. We have this moment right now, but how many more moments we get to have is unknown. Even in the most generous sense if you knew you had another 50 or more years to live you still have a limited number. How you spend some of those moments ideally would be helpful, welcome, comfortable, not necessary and feel luxurious. You might spend some time on your yacht or walking by the harbor or you might spend some of those moments day dreaming, idling away your time and doing “nothing.” Doing nothing is an affordable luxury. I don’t think you want to spend all your time doing that, but certainly we all spend some time filling up the space.
I am reading The Girl in the Spider’s Web: A Lisbeth Salander Novel which is the continuation of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Series which garnered a lot of acclaim. There is a highly regarded journalist, Mikael Blomkvist, who occupies a central role alongside Lisbeth Salander. Blomkvist has had the good fortune to break some major news stories. He has also had the fortune to write journal articles of lesser note that filled the time between his greater adventures.
There is some commentary in the book about those times where you are basically idling along. Life is not always major news stories. While we all have our share of major events in our lives we also have our share of ho-hum events. Life is not all weekends. For every Friday, Saturday and Sunday we have a Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
We all need to balance our time so we can be productive and have a sense of value and accomplishment. We need time to be joyful, playful and thankful. We also need some time to relax, to sit by the river and watch it flow. I have a chair in my backyard where I sit and watch the day. I also have a chair in the house where I do that as well. I also have couch where I love to lie down, read, and take a nap. I realized one day that I didn’t flop down on the couch that much and allow myself to idle there and read. I was too busy trying to be productive and do those major news events. I laughed a little at myself. David, I said, taking some time to lie down on the couch, read and nap was a luxury I could afford. Maybe I should give myself the gift of that luxury more often.