I miss writing. Scratch that. I continue to write daily in my journal, my morning pages. This is my forever writing practice that keeps me sane by giving some space to experience.
The writing I miss is writing here on this very old and antiquated blog. I was pulled back here after a meditation. In my meditation on a new project, I received this insight that I needed to tie up loose ends of projects before embarking on a very big one. So my 52nd vignette post was an act of closure.
But after I finished, I felt a whoosh. No it wasn’t like some chakra release or deep breathwork-y exhalation. It was something in between passing gas and an exorcism, to be honest. I giggled and started to read some of my old blog posts when I wrote the “funny,” when I fully embraced the audacious ridiculousness of having five children.
It’s getting even more ridiculous now that my eldest is back at home. More on that in future posts that will probably be titled “The Prodigal Daughter Series.” I joke. Kind of.
After the 52/52 vignette post, I felt good completing the project and didn’t care if anyone would read it. But then I received comments from three amazing women that I haven’t connected with in years. And I cried. I cried because I have forgotten so many things about myself that I have kept hidden for the last five years, things I have not discarded but just folded up and put away in an old chest, like the writer, like my peeps who come to this space for the humour and the inspiration, like my love for beautiful things…
This brings me to my (our) word:
Typically, when one thinks of luxury, one may think of yachts, Rolex watches, and Chanel bags. Or maybe it’s s traveling first class and five-star hotels? Or a designer wardrobe and a mansion? Generally, we link luxury to expensive stuff. A ridiculous excess of expensive stuff.
That’s right. Diamonds, pearls, and tiny dogs in bags, here I come.
(Cue eye roll.)
We just came home from a vacation on the Pacific side of Costa Rica. My mom and my brother came to visit. The house came equipped with things that we don’t have at home: air conditioning, wifi, a pool, an indoor living area with large screen TV, and a view of the ocean.
Besides the killer view of the Pacific Ocean, it was a “normal” house, but to my family, it felt absolutely luxurious.
My family is interested in changing this “excessive” concept linked with luxury by digging in to the feeling behind the word.
Why do we envy those who “live in the lap of luxury” when we know, according to latest research, that the extremely wealthy are not necessarily extremely happy? What is the psychology of feeling luxurious and what definition can we use to explore that doesn’t lead us down the trap of consumer culture? When we reject consumer culture, do we reject luxury?
The definition of luxury that we are using is that of comfort, ease, and wealth. Living simpler, off-grid, worried about basic necessities like the sun and the rain, we have a money mindset where we don’t spend on frivolous things or to distract from problems in front of us. We have been using it to increase comfort in our home, to focus on experiences and relationships that we find fulfilling and complement our life purpose.
For example, we find hot water a luxurious commodity. And during the dry season, we find water in general a luxury. A key parenting hack over the years has been to set the bar low…remember when my kids thought I was the greatest mom ever when I bought them a Venti hot chocolate from Starbucks and poured it in mini cups?)
It’s the framing of the word – how luxury can relate to the feeling of being taken care of in a novel way that is both exciting and easy. It is a luxury to be able to pay for dinner out for our large family and also invite and pay for good friends at a restaurant where we are also able to support friends that own it.
Luxury is also choosing vacations that support our intention of rest and togetherness and sometimes paying more for a different type of comfort. For example, we rented a home with air conditioning which helped us return to some old family traditions. Icing minus humidity make a structurally sound gingerbread house and a 1000-piece puzzle is easier when you are not dying of heat or getting attacked by bugs.
Is it a luxury to walk away from purchasing anything because you feel content with what you already have? Is it luxurious when you own every moment of your time? (I am leaning towards YES and YES.)
As a family, we will explore and invite this word as we make choices with our time, energy, and money.
Writing and blogging have always been a luxury for me and it brings me more joy than a new wardrobe. Although I did buy a new one this summer with the help of my eldest. (Another future blog post…maybe the prologue to the Prodigal Daughter series.)
Happy New Year.