As part of my morning routine, I get out for an early morning walk each day. It’s a habit that I got into a few years ago and have absolutely loved since. Funny side note: my dog hates walks. She walks painfully slow. It gives me time to think. Way too much thinking…
While these walks are always enjoyable, as I’m walking, I start running through a mental to-do list and getting excited for the day ahead. By the time I walk in the door I’m ready to hit the ground running.
The other morning as I was walking home, conscious of my time and my very full to-do list for the day, I started to notice that the birds were chirping just a bit louder and the sky was brighter than I’d seen in months.
There is a huge open space area that I’ll walk through regularly on the weekends, but as I’m usually in a hurry to get home and start working, I rarely walk through it during the week.
Rather than hustle my way home, I decided to spend an extra 45 minutes walking through this area. The sun was starting to rise and the fog was settling in the valley below. As I walked on the ridge, letting Hattie explore and gazing out on the hills in front of me, I thought to myself,
“This feels so luxurious.”
That phrasing took me by surprise. A walk? In the morning? Luxurious? I usually equate luxury to a day at the spa or driving a fancy car. But it never really dawned on me that something free could be luxurious.
A money mindset shift
As I’ve written about so many times, Jordan and I don’t adhere to a strict budget. We set up automatic transfers to savings and investing accounts, as well as bill pay at the beginning of the month.
We then live off the rest, prioritizing spending money on the things that make us happiest.
While using this approach, our spending has naturally decreased without us feeling deprived. I didn’t realize this, but this tactical shift in our spending has caused a mindset shift as well.
No longer do we look at luxurious things as only expensive things. It encompasses a whole range of experiences as well as possessions.
Sure, I love a great pair of shoes and I have no problem buying them if I really love them. I thoroughly enjoy spa days and belonging to a nice gym. And a high-quality set of crisp sheets on my bed is one of my favorite indulgences.
But luxury isn’t a word I reserve anymore solely for things that are expensive.
Something like a beautiful sunrise walk feels equally as luxurious to me – and I couldn’t be happier with this new mindset.
Life’s other luxuries
When I got home after my walk, I started to think about all of the other things that I now consider luxurious:
Sunrise walks in the park.
We used to live near Hyde Park, which if you’ve ever been to London you know it’s a pretty luxurious park.
If you’re not a morning person this will make you cringe, but some of my best moments were taking a full hour in the morning to walk around the park at sunrise with a great cup of coffee.
The swans would be just getting up, the park would be completely empty, and though I didn’t define it as luxurious at the time, looking back on those mornings I know that’s 100% what they were.
Picking a fun bottle of wine and a new recipe for dinner with friends.
My dream home includes a pizza oven. Jordan used to tease me about having such a specific request for a future home, but he’s come around.
Having friends over for a casual, fun dinner with a (few) bottles of wine is something I think of now as luxurious. Having very little clean-up afterward because we’re making pizzas in a pizza oven would dial it up that much further.
Playing hookey from grown-up responsibilities (most recently from baby class).
Jordan and I were driving to a baby class the other day. We were halfway there, the sun was shining, and neither of us really wanted to go. Instead, we ditched the course.
We went for a long walk and headed to an impromptu lunch date. Playing hookey from grownup responsibilities is probably one of my favorite ways to feel luxurious (that and a glass of wine with lunch).
Going down to pick my beans from the coffee roaster.
We buy nice coffee since we drink it at home every morning (we’ll also get coffee while we’re out, but our first cup of the day is always at home).
While we used to just buy whatever the coffee shop down the street stocked, I’ve since started visiting our local roaster’s stall at the farmer’s market to select our brew for the week. It’s actually no more expensive but the entire experience feels 1,000 times more luxurious.
An awesome bath with a solid facemask.
When picking our current apartment I was drawn to one thing immediately: the enormous claw foot tub. It has made all of my luxurious bath dreams come true. Top it off with a facemask and I feel beyond pampered.
Now that luxury is a word I’m comfortable using for anything – from life’s little indulgences to weekends away at a beautiful hotel – I appreciate how I spend my time and my money in a whole new light.
How do you define luxury and what are your favorite indulgences?
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