Reclaiming 'Luxury'

12.4.17

It feels like I've blinked and luxury blogging has become a genre.  The buying and talking about of multiple designer items has become high profile and suddenly everybody's in the market for the latest Gucci handbag.

I suppose I sort of touched upon this in my post titled 'The Loss of The Relatable Blogger' and my feelings on luxury blogging are mixed.  I'd be lying if I said I don't lust after beautiful designer goods, but I hate that there's the potential for the line to be blurred about realistic expectations.  To reiterate a point from that post, that I don't hold 'luxury bloggers' accountable for the spending choices of their audience, I do think that seeing this lifestyle promoted as the norm (which it may well be for them) can have damaging effects in various ways.

Luxury | noun
a state of great comfort or elegance, especially when involving great expense / an inessential, desirable item which is expensive or difficult to obtain

I've mentioned them a few times lately, but it was listening to The Mustards' podcast on luxury which sparked this post.  In the podcast Jenny put forward that she considers luxury to be a state of being, a moment, which is elevated from the ordinary.

There's another definition of luxury which is the one I think we should be focusing on:

Luxury | noun
a pleasure obtained only rarely.

You see that?  No mention of expense, or material wealth and purchases.  And when you look at the synonyms which go hand in hand the alternative definition only becomes more appealing to me:

joy, delight, bliss, blessing, benefit, comfort, ease....need I go on? 

I'll be honest, I'm not so jazzed about the idea of this state being met 'only rarely' (and this is where the hygge discussion from the podcast slots in) but it's this mindset that I'm stepping forward to reclaim.

I want people to consider that there's a simpler way to feel luxurious.  And perhaps it sits at odds with the conventional understanding of the word, but I think it's a more sustainable way of living.

So what do I value as the luxuries in my life?  I've been mulling this over a lot lately, thinking about how something can be luxurious if it's also an everyday thing.  And again, borrowing from the podcast, it comes down to entitlement.  For most of us, if we want to purchase something particularly fancy it has to be worked and saved for.  So following on from that, for moments to be luxurious they have to be earned.

This is a concept which solidified in my mind when I started making my list of luxuries and noticed that most of them were the after-effect of some form of effort or work:

// lazy Sunday mornings (earned after a busy week)
//  friendships (the result of years spent sharing memories and building relationships)
// hot chocolate (earned on the days I go spinning)
// reading in the mornings before work (possible by sacrificing 20 extra minutes in bed)
 
Of course there are other moments and things which I count as luxurious well, just because.  Having a manicure, eating out, being able to come home on my lunch break.  But the most important one I realised?

Time.

It's the most valuable thing you can give and receive and worth so much more than the latest "must have piece".  I count my time as a luxury because, in the rare moments it's truly well spent, there's no pleasure greater.

So can we think about reclaiming 'luxury', please?  Valuing the smaller moments of fulfillment (the ones which will ultimately bring more joy than the luxury which is linked with consumerism) and seeing those as things we're lucky to have.

Who's with me?

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