Friday, September 4, 2009

What is luxury?

What exactly is luxury?

Almost everything that we purchase today is marketed as a luxury item. We have luxury cars, luxury luggage, luxury hotels, luxury spas, luxurious clothes, and the list goes on. Is this really the luxury we're looking for? Luxury is defined as "a pleasure out of the ordinary allowed to oneself". All of the "items" that we own are, in a material sense, luxurious. We don't really need designer jeans or t-shirts, expensive sheets or a BMW. They are luxury items.

What the wealthy have that we seek is the luxury to manage our time. To not let our possessions manage our time. How is it that a wealthy woman can have a baby and have her perfect body back in just a few short months? To start, she'll have a nanny to care for her newborn so she can rest and get back to her daily routine. She may have a chef to prepare healthy meals for her. She may also have a personal trainer to help her get into shape quickly. I'm not saying it's not possible to do it otherwise. Regular women do it often, but all of the women we see on television and on the runways get back into shape extremely quickly. It is simply because they can afford the luxury of having other people make decisions for them that they don't need to make. You don't need to make the decision of what to have for dinner if you have someone who knows your preferences cooking your meals. You are free from the thought of it all together!

Many time-consuming tasks can be managed this way. You can have someone who manages your schedule, wardrobe, housekeeping, parties, and so forth. The luxury we are really looking for is to have someone else do everything for us. Unfortunately, this is not realistic for most people. What is realistic is managing our possessions and time-consuming tasks to the point where they don't overwhelm us or take up too much of our time. We choose what we want to do and not do, either directly or indirectly. Most of us don't go to the trouble of ironing our shirts (or our spouse’s), so we send them out to the cleaners. The time it takes to wash, dry and iron our own shirts is more valuable to us than the couple of dollars it costs to have someone else do them.

I believe we should look at all of the tasks in our life this way.

How do I really want to spend my time?

What is it worth to me to have that time?

How can I get what I want and still afford my needs?

I would like to help as many people as I can organize their lives this way. My goal is to help you spend the time on what you want to do, not what you have to do. Send me an email with your most time-consuming task and I’ll help you find a solution to make your life easier!


  1. What is the easiest way to spend less time dealing with meals? For me, I'd love to have yummy things to eat, but I'm not so into cooking them. Do I need to plan better? Outsource more? Eat simply? I can't afford my own personal chef. Help!

  2. i have to say, jillie, that when i take the time 10 min or so, to plan our meals, i feel like i have more time in my days. find simple easy things on the internet, crock pot recipes, etc. i'm amazed how happy i am when i do this.... tat means the rest of my family is happy, too!

  3. Thanks for your comments Hillary. Jillie, it does take some planning to get your daily meals squared away. When I lived in NYC, I would purchase meals that were easy to just heat and serve (from FreshDirect). Living in SF now we have a local store that has delicious, healthy food that you just heat and serve. You can also cook in batches a few times a week. Roast a whole chicken and eat part of it for your next meal, save the rest to add into salads or to re-heat. An excellent way to make pasta is to make it ahead of time, rinse it in cool water and then store portions in plastic bags with olive oil to prevent it from sticking to itself. When needed, reheat the pasta right in the plastic bag in the microwave. It comes out perfectly and is super easy! When I do cook at home I usually make a 2 item dinner, tonight was BBQ'd chicken with sauteed broccoli. It was easy, not too much cleanup, and delicious! Hopefully that helps.

  4. Thank you! The suggestions were helpful (2 item dinner, reminder of the crock pot and pasta). First week of "Something Other Than Eggs" for dinner.

  5. I loved this post as I am fantastic about whiling away the day.
    And, great food suggestions.