What does luxury mean to you? To me luxury isn’t about dripping in diamonds and designers purses. It’s the freedom to enjoy the life I want to create in my own time and in my own way. Here are some examples of what I think are life’s true luxuries.
Living in a Beautiful Area
I grew up in Philadelphia, which although it has a rich history, has very little to offer a modern woman. I moved to New York City in my twenties to go to school. I stayed there for years because the city has so much to offer. Interesting people from all over the world come to live there. The city is full of art, music, theatre, great food, all the things I love.
A while back I took a trip to Paris with friends and knew immediately that it was a city I could live in. Its beauty, history, delectable food, interesting people, amazing art, its whole vibe. Have you ever traveled and felt this way in a new city?
I did not get that feeling when I moved to Los Angeles. Although the weather was sunny nearly every day, and I had a very fulfilling career and friends that I loved, it was never the city for me. I thought that L.A. would be beautiful, and while parts of it were, most of it looked like a strip mall. Not my vibe at all.
I’ve learned over the years that I am definitely not a suburban woman, and most likely not a country woman either. I’m a city dweller, always have been.
Where you live is important. You should wake up every day and enjoy what you see out your window. Maybe you prefer the country or maybe you prefer an urban center.
Living in a place you love is a luxury. Imagine yourself walking to a coffee shop in the morning and looking around at the beautiful architecture and feeling the energy of the place. It makes you happy just being there. There is value in where you live.
Most people don’t leave the city they were born in. Why is that? There is a whole world out there. If you don’t like your surroundings, dream bigger. Travel and find places that you enjoy. Then make it your goal to one day live in that special place that brings you joy.
Not Having To Wake Up To Go To Work
Being self-employed is the greatest thing I’ve ever done for myself. Even though it can be tough making your own living instead of collecting a steady paycheck, there is nothing like the freedom that comes from being your own boss.
I don’t miss getting up early, taking a shower, putting on makeup, getting dressed, sitting in traffic for an hour, just to get to an office making money for someone else. Yes, it pays the bills, but the price is your freedom. I’m not a morning person, and my preferred schedule doesn’t work for most companies.
True luxury is the freedom of time, time to do whatever you want. I still wake up and go to work, but I do it on my own time. I work just as hard as I did before, but I do it for myself, for my own projects, for my own dreams.
Time goes by so quickly. Use the hours that you save commuting to spend time with your loved ones. You won’t regret missing the weekly department meeting, but you will regret not spending time with your kids or spouse.
You should be excited to wake up, instead of having to wake up to get to an office on time.
I live in the United States where healthy food is abundant. I can walk in any direction and find a store that sells vegetables, meat, grains, anything I need. Not everyone in the world has this luxury.
Despite this fact, most people do not know how to eat healthily, or take the time to make good food. They live on convenience foods like frozen pizza or fast food burgers and chicken.
I once heard the comedienne Rosanne say, “Half the world is starving and the other half is trying to lose weight.”
More people than ever in the United States are obese, and dealing with the diseases that come with not eating well. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, high blood sugar, are all lifestyle diseases that come from the foods we eat or don’t eat.
Take a look in your cupboards and your refrigerator and see what kind of food you have available. Are you addicted to caffeine, sugar, and salt?
High quality food isn’t any more expensive than low quality food, but it isn’t as convenient. Know what else isn’t convenient? Getting sick. Vegetables are one of the least expensive foods you can buy, and the healthiest for you. But do you take the time to chop them and cook them? Or do you buy a frozen veggie pack with flavored sauce that can be microwaved in two minutes?
Everything good in life takes time. Take time to cook a good meal. Use ingredients that are in season and grown locally. Share the meal with family and friends. Bonus points if you can eat it outdoors. Have water on the table and perhaps some wine. Tell stories. Share laughs. Make memories.
Quality foods leads to enjoying life, not just going blindly through your days.
Being In Control of Your Life
Many people go through life doing things that other people want them to do. Your parents, your spouse, your priest, your friends, all have ideas about how you should live your life and spend your days.
These people mean well. Your parents want you to be successful. Your friends want you to be like them. They all want you to fill a familiar role in their lives. Your life is yours and you are the only one who should be making the decisions about what to do and how to spend your time. Don’t let anyone limit you.
Too many people live their lives according to what pleases others or to impress others. Please yourself. Impress yourself.
True luxury is being in control of your own life, to have the ability to make your own decisions, to have power over your time.
If you don’t feel in control of your life, start making goals and plans to reach them.
A Comfortable Home
I was on a coaching call recently and the coach asked us to close our eyes and imagine our ideal bedroom. Try it. What do you see when you wake up in the morning? What is outside your window? Do you have a view? What does your room smell like? What does it look like? Now, open you eyes and look around. Does your current room please you? I found this to be a very powerful exercise because I was not happy with my current situation.
Your home is your sanctuary. Just like living in a city that lights you up, your home should be your place of safety, comfort, and peace.
When I was a student living in New York City I had the tiniest studio apartment. It was in a nice building and a nice neighborhood, so I always felt safe. It was my first place that was all my own, and I loved it at the time.
Now that I am older I find that I want more rooms, more space. I want a home that is a reflection of me today, that can provide comfort and peace, that can accommodate friends when I feel like entertaining, that can be my work place and my relaxation space.
Your bedroom especially should be your ideal personal space. Invest in a quality bed, mattress, linens, and pillows. Hang art on your walls. Keep it clean and put away the clutter. Get yourself high quality silk or cotton pajamas.
If your home is not a sanctuary, start doing some work on it today.
Did you ever have to share a room with your siblings growing up? Or did you have roommates in college or when you were just starting out in your career? Then you know the value of having a private space.
We all need a place where we can let down our hair and be ourselves without any witnesses. Some people only get to be alone when they are in the shower or driving their car to work.
I’m not saying you need to become a hermit. But there is real luxury in having your own space, even if it’s just a small nook in your house that is just for you.
You also need to think about privacy in terms of your online life. We all love our social media channels, but in order to belong to them we need to sacrifice a certain amount of privacy. They collect so much data on us every time we log on. You probably don’t even realize how much people can find out about you online.
Be careful about how much information you share online. Every website you visit is tracking you with cookies and collecting data in order to advertise to you. They know far more about you than most people in your life.
Learn how to protect your privacy at home and online.
Being Debt Free
Nothing will weigh you down like being in debt. You are not truly free as long as you owe money to someone else. It keeps you from being able to leave your job. It keeps you from being able to invest. Before you try to grow your wealth, you must get out of debt first.
Debt causes stress. It eats away at you. It can keep you up at night. Some debts can take years, even decades, to pay off.
Of course, there are different types of debt. Taking on a mortgage or student loan can help you get ahead in life. But mountains of credit card debt is a very dangerous game to play. The interest rates and fees are exorbitant.
Do you really need to drive a luxury car? You’ll find that most wealthy people drive average cars. They know a bad debt when they see one. Luxury cars are great when you can pay for them with your wealth instead of your income.
Being free of debt is a true luxury because it equals freedom.
A Supportive Circle
Did you ever hear the saying that “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” There is also a variation of this saying that is “show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.”
Make sure the people around you have your back. Surround yourself with people who love and support you and are also actively making you better. You and your crew should work to raise each other’s standards whether you are friends, family, or business associates.
If you want to up-level your life, you need to level up your inner circle. Knowing that you have a group of dependable people who care about you is a true luxury.
Do you have any of life’s true luxuries to add to my list? Share them in the comments section below.