Monday, December 5, 2011

Luxury


Luxury.

Ask one hundred different people what their idea of luxury is and I bet you will get almost 100 different answers.
It is a word that can be easily translated into something different for everyone and change as often as people change their likes and dislikes.

As for myself, my idea of luxury has consistently changed. As a child, it meant shopping at the mall for my clothes instead of Kmart. As a teen I scoffed "luxury" and rebelled in my leather jackets and studs. All while wearing imported leather combat boots. Oh, the irony.

 When I became a young mother, luxury was in owning my first goose down comforter and having the highest thread sheet counts I could afford. In buying my very first item at Pottery Barn; a silver alarm clock that still sits beside my bed to this very day. I thought for sure I had "arrived" since I was buying something in a store I regarded as being so "high end".
Through life I have seen other glimpses of what luxury can mean.
Women having the opportunity to stay home and raise their children from infancy to adulthood is quite the luxury in this day and age.
Families that take yearly vacations to distant places can be considered luxurious.
For some perhaps in these trying times, maybe even just having the money to pay their monthly bills is a luxury.

The thought of what defines the word started swirling around in my head over the weekend and I thought of what it means to me today as a wife and mother in my later-than-I-like-to-admit-30's.
The woman I am today chuckles at the thought of goose down and thread counts. Don't get me wrong, they are both very nice, but we sleep just fine on flannel sheets too don't we?

Today I find luxury in things some have always done. For instance, this past Saturday morning sleeping until we woke naturally. The pancake breakfast with all the typical trimmings we shared together in the kitchen. Staying in our pajamas until after 1pm. Only staying "dressed" for about 3 hours and then back in comfy clothes.
Standing outside at the local flea market early Sunday morning with my 17 year old. Selling stuff that was cluttering up our garage all the while laughing and talking with each other. Knowing that in just over a year he will be off to college and not here to talk to anytime I want. Arriving home in the late morning and making cinnamon rolls to warm us up and fill our bellies. Letting the menfolk watch football all afternoon and using the time to get caught up on my magazine reading. Sitting down for dinner together on Sunday night and reflecting on the things we are so grateful for.

After a lifetime of working weekends, being home with my family to enjoy every second is my newest definition of luxury.

What is yours?

12 comments:

  1. oh what a great question, esp this time of year. like you, i think luxury changes as we age. i was v fortunate to have been a stay home mom with my sons, that def was and still is a luxury. and i remember buying small things from pottery barn and thinking i'd finally made it too! how funny. now my greatest luxury is in living the simplest life that i can. from being vegan and loving a small house and having v few bills is the greatest luxury for me right now. thanks for such a lovely, thoughtful post. xo janet

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  2. What a gorgeous post and what a wonderful Sunday!
    Today, luxury is finding a top that doesn't have baby vomit on it.

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  3. Janet ~ I am totally with you. I think living the simplest life possible is now the greatest luxury that can be afforded. Most days lately I dream of getting rid of cell phones and maybe even one of the cars and moving somewhere peaceful and remote. Of course, it would have to include a small red house! ;)

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  4. Thought beautiful provoking post - (I like these)
    For me right now one "luxury" is being able to walk home from work and vice versa.
    Being able to buy something but choosing not to :)

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  5. Great post Eleanor. I'm so happy you can spend weekends with your family now.
    Luxury for me is flannel sheets!
    It has been a luxury for me to be home with my children, I'm very grateful for that.
    I enjoy a slower pace and you and Janet are really onto something with a simplified life: it's a luxury!

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  6. Ah, the simplest things are often luxuries, no? For the longest time (after leaving full time retail) I felt like EVERY holiday and weekend was full of luxury since I didn't have to leave while everyone was having a great time...I FEEL YOU on that one.
    This years luxuries are still being able to have a gift filled christmas for my family and friends- so many are not able to do that this year..and I am VERY thankful that we can. Promised myself that we wouldn't go overboard but very much looking forward to GIVING this holiday season:)
    C

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  7. great post! sleeping in, cozy blankets, and movie marathons are on my definition of luxury right now!

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  8. I would say that the chance to spend an entire day with my BF has become my new definition of luxury. We live only minutes apart, but life becomes so busy that we feel as though we hardly see each other anymore, let alone go on a "date." I miss those days when we could plop down on the couch, eat lunch together, and watch 8 hours of Say Yes to the Dress (my pick) or American Pickers (his choice)

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  9. It sure struck a chord with me when you said that right now, just being able to pay bills is a luxury for some people. That's me right now! I've been looking for a full-time job for three years, working at temp jobs whenever I can get them, and now my unemployment has run out...so for the past three months (going on four) just being able to scrounge up enough money here and there has felt like a luxury to me! Fortunately I have a family that is ready and willing to support me if I ever cry "Uncle!" and ask for help...and that, too, is a kind of luxury! So many people do not have that, and their struggles to make the most basic ends meet are much more trying and frightening than mine. I feel extremely lucky to know that I've got a safety net to rely on if I can't hack it on my own. So far so good, though...just barely! :)

    In better times, luxury for me is clothing made of nice fabrics. I don't necessarily pay high prices for them -- I've really grown to love thrifting (and I miss being able to do that right now!); I love the "hunt" and the thrill of finding a truly nice garment in a great material. My favorites are silk and cashmere. I feel like a million bucks when I wear something against my skin that feels fantastic. The tactile pleasure of a luxe fabric keeps me happy all day long. And feeling like a million bucks all day is my idea of luxury!

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  10. Awww such a sweet post! I don't even know what I would say. I guess I see luxury and happiness as 2 different things. Luxury is just anything beyond my basic happiness. Does that make sense?
    What makes me happy tho truly depends on the day. Saturday night it was a dirty martini with 6 olives. Other days it involves cuddling on the couch with my furry baby. It's good to appreciate the small things and your weekend spent with your family sounds like a perfect description of happiness to me.

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  11. I've kind of gone through the same "luxury" arc as you. Anymore, luxury is time with the family. I work odd hours so that the girls spend only a few hours a week with a nanny (whom they adore, thank goodness). But it means I don't see my husband very often (awake). So a day lazing about with all of them sounds like heaven!

    Jenn

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  12. When I count my luxuries, they tend to be experiences and things that delight the senses. Flannel sheets, hot cocoa with vanilla creamer, salty McD's fries and just waking up to experience a new day. That always feels like a luxury to me.

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