Living intentionally, needing less and giving more does not necessarily mean living sparsely or going without.
Well, maybe it means going without some things, but not of important or significant things. And not things that are really enjoyable.
Living intentionally and needing less so I can give more means that I consider what I use and spend and consume and spend my money and time on. And filter it through my personal, intentional values and preferences.
Yesterday, after a friend who is selling Mary Kay was in my office, I got to thinking about splurges. I do not like spending money on cosmetics. I started using Cover Girl when it first came out (I was a trail blazer!). And I still often purchase basic foundation and compact at Walgreen’s. It works fine for me. I did buy some lip gloss from my Mary Kay friend. I needed it and it was the least expensive item she had and I am happy to support her business efforts. A woman in the adjoining office and I discussed cosmetics after my friend left.
My office neighbor would splurge on fragrance. No way would that be important to me. Some nice smelling shampoo and then pleasant lotion is sufficient for me. She, however, would not think that lip gloss was important. Chapstick, maybe in cherry flavor, is fine for her.
There are some splurges I have decided that, for me, give me energy and joy. Some are caloric splurges. Some are splurges that involve money. Others just take time. Here are a few:
- Chocolate. Dark chocolate. Expensive chocolate. Good chocolate. Not milk chocolate, not waxy chocolate, not $1 chocolate bars with peanuts and goo. Just a bit of fine, dark chocolate, occasionally with a bit of salt or ginger in it. Just about every day.
- Distance. There are two services that I have decided are worth a drive. I will drive 25 minutes to have my hair cut by the woman who has taken me through many stages of hair. (She is in a small town so I can almost convince myself that I save money since she charges less than in-town stylists.) I have tried others and am settled in that the extra hour to drive there and back every 5-6 weeks is a splurge I enjoy. And, then, there is the massage therapist my hair stylist referred me to. The drive there is an hour one way……but oh, so worth it. She is not a simple relaxing massager. Oh, no. She fixes me. Lower back pain from too much weight in Body Pump? Gone. Hip pain from new running efforts? Gone. Tight IT band? Loosened. She fixes it all and, right now, I deem it worth the three hour investment. Again….she is less expensive, so the gas part of the drive is a wash. Splurging on the time of the drive? It is good pod-listening time.
- A good latte. I have my favorite places and I try to remember to take my own mug to save 50 cents on my drink when I am near Espresso Royale, but there is no better liquid lunch that a well made, quality latte (no fat, no foam). I could do without a latte, but some days, I don’t.
- Fresh flowers. Not all the time. Not extravagant. Just pretty.
- Lunch with a friend. Or, breakfast, or dinner. Being spartan is not the goal. The goal is being intentional and not wasting. Enjoying food and conversation is a source of energy and joy. Worth the time and money.
- Butter, not margarine. And whipped cream, not Cool Whip. And fresh apples or frozen cherries for pie, not canned pie filling. And home made bread, not store bought. There are some purest tendencies in some of my splurges.
- Select television shows. Don’t just watch whatever is on. There are plenty of better ways to use your time. Figure out what you really enjoy, watch, and turn off!
The main point of this post is to stress intentional splurging. Because, if you have thought about it, can afford it, and enjoy it, then you should do it/use it/eat it with a clear conscience.