Larry Banman – Enjoy a moment of luxury today |

Larry Banman – Enjoy a moment of luxury today

Many people find this time of year to be tedious. The seed catalogs have made their appearance, but at this altitude, spring is really no more than a rumor. The days are longer, but temperatures of 20 degrees below zero are still possible. Most of us are still going to work at sunrise and coming home after dusk.

This year, the tedium seems to be compounded by the realization that even if the worst of the economic downturn is over, the road to recovery is likely marked with dead ends, detours and potholes. The quick fix that we crave and is often promised by those seeking public office is likely going to be replaced by something called a long, slow uphill crawl.

It was while I was in that frame of mind that my wife introduced me to something called a moment of luxury. The idea comes from a television show on PBS called, “Discover a Moment of Luxury with William Stubbs.”

The word luxury is often associated with the word expensive, and that is where my mind went. I was wrong. The point of the show is to identify places that are off the beaten path, those hidden jewels that you discover when you turn left while everybody else is turning right. The kind of place where you find a perfect set of barstools for $5 apiece. The kind of place where you feel good about what you saw or did and didn’t have to justify the cost. The kind of place where you left a tip because it was deserved and unexpected, but definitely not as the result of some guilt-inducing tip jar.

We took that theory to think about our own moments of luxury. We came up with the usual favorites: fresh bed sheets or bath towels just off the clothes line; a dazzling sunrise; a favorite sweatshirt warm from the dryer; a meal made entirely from things grown in the garden; a summer harvest moon; the smell of a freshly mown lawn; an early morning drive.

The point was that all of them cost next to nothing and could be easily obtained. They didn’t depend upon the fortunes of a favorite sports team, the roll of a die or the flip of a card. They were things over which we had complete control.

Then we tried to get more specific and come up with the perfect moment of luxury. For my wife (and I have secured her permission to divulge this information) her moment of luxury is a hot bubble bath (Mr. Bubble produces the longest lasting bubbles) while reading three of her favorite magazines. It was harder to quantify for me, but I came up with the following scenario.

It is a Saturday morning and my obligations for the day are summed up in two words, wake up. My shop is warm, I have a couple of small projects to complete, by breakfast of bacon and eggs is settling nicely in my stomach and I realize I have a day of possibilities in front of me. I feel so good at that moment that I can’t help but go inside and give my wife a kiss on the cheek.

Moments of luxury aren’t defined by Hollywood, Madison Avenue or even Disney World. The best part about a moment of luxury is that yours may be entirely unique. You get to define it and it is yours to enjoy. Often, you don’t even have to go looking for it, it just happens. There is, however, one caveat.

A moment of luxury is no longer a moment of luxury once it becomes something you have to do, once you develop an addiction or you try to tell other people that your moment must become their moment. It then becomes something much worse, it becomes a chore.

Feel free to go and do something luxurious.

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