Luxury: Noun: a state of great comfort or elegance, especially when involving great expense
What is ‘Luxury’?! This is a question that’s been running through my mind a lot recently – there’s so many different ideals for people and it’s not a case of one size fits all. When I asked a group of friends recently it became evident that luxury can be a state of mind, a way of life or a way of thinking – it’s not easy to define.
Does luxury have to cost a lot of money – tradition says it probably should but in reality is it more about what you consider luxury to be? One friend who has 3 young children simply said “going to the toilet without an audience” is one of her luxuries (sorry, this made me chuckle!!). Another friend pointed out that having good health is a luxury we shouldn’t forget.
Luxury to some can simple be that of “having time to spare, to waste to enjoy doing something slowly”. I really liked this specific answer. A lot of people wanted to have time in the sun, time to read a book, time to enjoy a good meal with friends or time to have a massage. It’s clearly evident that we live in such a fast paced world where everything should be done instantaneously; we should all be super women at juggling a career, running a house, bringing up children, having a social life, going to the gym and keeping up a hobby that we just don’t have that luxury of time.
This may sound crazy seeing as we live and work together but JB and I have made a conscious decision to take some time for each other – to take one day off a month to spend away from the office. Just because we run our own businesses doesn’t mean we can’t have a day off (you would if you were in a regular job). In January we had a spa day (OK, it was a bit of a disaster but that’s another story). In February we went to Kent to visit friends for a long weekend and in March we’re taking a day off on my birthday. In the coming months we’ll use Christmas gifts that include a champagne visit to the Shard and an afternoon tea at the Celtic Manor. We’re fortunate to be able to do this and I’m grateful for that as I know it’s not that simple for others around us.
Other friends answers that cropped up where more specific items – a high end designer handbag (think Mulberry, Dior or Chanel); an overnight stay at an expensive hotel such as Claridges or the Ritz; travelling first class around the world or simply having someone to come in and change the bed every day with clean white linen sheets.
Is luxury different for men and women? All the answers above were from women. After chatting to a few of the chaps, it appears not really…JB considers luxury to staying in a 5 star hotel, with good food and wine or maybe being chauffeur driven to a major sporting event which would be watched from a corporate box. He did also say a lie in at the weekend doesn’t go a miss either! There was a mixed bag from having a decent hot shower in a nice bathroom (this was my Dad who’s house is currently undergoing renovations including a new bathroom!) to relaxing and having everything done for you. Another said time to allow him to see his young girls play, grow, explore, experience and to ensure that he (& his wife) is part of that. There was also health, a view you can appreciate, family and friends that are close enough to allow support when needed and a sunny bike ride in a warm climate with a tailwind all the way!
What’s my idea of luxury…? It depends on my state of mind I think. It could be treating myself to (another) beautiful candle or a Gucci scarf , taking a bubble bath with some expensive bath time treats or simply having quality time with my husband, close family and friends. I wouldn’t say no to flying first class, sitting on a white beach with clear blue seas or turn down a designer handbag either!
In complete contrast we shouldn’t forget those who would consider clean, fresh running water to quench their thirst, a hot meal in their tummy, a roof over their head or safe environment to be their luxury.
When thinking about luxury, what comes to mind for you?
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