Just A Bit Of Luxury: Make Life Better Without Drowning In Stuff

by Randy Murray on September 4, 2013

I wouldn’t say that I am a slob, but most summer days as I work here in my home office or while out running errands you’ll find me dressed in cargo shorts, one of my assorted pirate-themed shirts from our beach vacations, and my Keen Newport Sandals. Sometimes when wearing my worn Tilley hat I look more like the beech bum that I aspire to be.

Some people talk about freelancers working in their pajamas or pant-less. Tempting as that may be to do this, I  shower and dress to work. I just don’t need as many suits and ties as I did at the beginning of my career.

I’ve also found that I feel like less of a slob when I have some little touch of luxury in my life. My hat and shoes may not appear luxurious to the passing eye, but they are both exceptionally well made of excellent materials and have served me well for years. And I appreciate them more because I don’t have closets full of them.

I buy the cheapest printer paper, but I carefully select my notebooks and pens. Even when wearing my worn cargo shorts I carry a finely made leather wallet. And I’m replacing the stacks of disposable razors for single, finely made, double edge safety razor. Both the wallet and the razor are of such exceptional quality that they should last for generations (the wallet is guaranteed for 100 years!).

I’ve heard it said that you don’t own things, they own you. Owning fewer, better quality things makes my life easier and more enjoyable. I’d rather have one really fine pen than a drawer full of cheaply made ones, one razor I can pass on to my great-grandson than a truck load of plastic disposable ones. And you know something else? The safety razor, like the one my grandfather used, gives a better shave, too.

Luxury doesn’t necessarily mean expensive. I have a little piece of carved onyx that I sometimes carry in my pocket. It probably cost a couple of bucks. I use it as a “worry stone.” Its surface is smooth with that gentle depression. It’s pleasant to feel between my thumb and fingers, to rub while I’m thinking or distracted. It’s a simple piece of luxury, carried in my pocket, and it does make my life better. I don’t own a bowl full of these worry stones, I don’t need a quarry. Just one little smooth object makes me feel calmer, and yes, richer.

My advice: find a little luxury in your life, something that you can easily carry with you. The right object will help you feel calmer and happier, even when schlepping around dressed as a future beach bum. There is no greater luxury in life than a moment of happiness.

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