Last year I listened to a podcast episode that really stuck with me, to the point that I have thought about it quite frequently over this past year. Turns out- it was from way back in September 2019, and I still find myself thinking about it, so I figured I should share here!
It was a Before Breakfast episode called “Elevate the Everyday”, by one of my favorite authors, podcasters and time management experts, Laura Vanderkam (episode link here). It’s a brief 6 min episode, but like I said, it was an eye-opener for me. (Probably helps that I find the title pretty catchy, too!)
In the episode she talks about how beneficial it can be to find ways to “boost” plain old, everyday experiences into something better, greater or more enjoyable- with just minor tweaks or upgrades.
She gives this example: Let’s say you and your spouse share a bottle of wine once a week. Maybe this is your special “connection” time each week, and you really look forward to it and value it. If you usually buy a $15/ bottle of wine that is just okay, maybe it’s worth upgrading that bottle to a $25-30 bottle of wine that you love, instead. It’s not a HUGE increase, but it could really “elevate” the experience and make it extra special at a relatively low cost difference.
Other examples she gives are making sure you love your bed sheets. The water pressure in your shower. Pens that you use everyday. Buying quality running socks or workout clothes that you use every single day! Getting nice, thick towels for your daily shower, or shampoo that you really like. You get the gist. (Obviously, you’d have to pick things that YOU personally value or get joy from.)
She argues that evidence supports that these “small, daily pleasures” actually bring us greater overall joy than a much larger purchase like, say, a big brand new house or car. I can definitely believe this!
Ever since I heard this, I’ve been trying to keep this in the front of my mind. Yes, nicer pens cost more than the cheap Bic pens, but we aren’t talking hundreds of dollars. By upgrading my pens for a few extra dollars, my workday writing (which I actually do a lot of (by hand) in my job) feels WAY, way better. I have a tendency to sort of “make do” on certain, smaller items in an effort to “save money”, but this has made me re-evaluate that mindset a little bit.
One of my other favorites has been moving a battery operated, LED flameless candle into our master bathroom. When I take a shower, I usually turn all the lights off and flip the candle on, even if it’s a weekday at 2 pm. It makes me feel like I’m momentarily in a spa somewhere- a little cozy break from reality. I also have a bathrobe that I REALLY like and that works well for me, which I always enjoy putting on afterward.
I have a favorite tea cup that I usually drink out of that works really well for me, I love our sheets, and I started listening to podcasts while doing my makeup to “elevate” that otherwise kind of boring time in the day. Sometimes I embrace the silence, but many days it’s a real treat!
I still have some other things I want to slowly work on upgrading (both my workout leggings and my sock/underwear collection could use a bit more work), but this has at least made me pause and think about items that I use everyday to make sure they are really working for me the best they can be. I used to have a broom that I didn’t really like and that just didn’t work the best. Finally, I asked myself, “WHY AM I USING THIS CRAPPY BROOM EVERYDAY?!” and bought one that I actually enjoy sweeping breakfast crumbs with. VERY worth it! 🙂
Do you have any everyday items that you intentionally turn into slightly more “luxury” items?
I’m grateful for cozy sweatshirts. Asher had one last super early (6:10 a.m.) swim practice this morning, and I wasn’t totally feeling rolling out of bed at 5 am on Saturday to bring him here. It’s CHILLY! I have on a favorite sweatshirt I bought in Colorado last summer. Grateful for it right now!
Also, the view isn’t bad either (from my van):