Here we are, six weeks into the new year. If you made some resolutions, they might be fading or forgotten. I’m not here to prod or shame you. I’m here to give you a gift. That gift is quiet luxuries.
Usually during the last week of the year I set some time aside and think about what I want to do with the upcoming year. That’s how I came up with the idea for The New Maturity.
But back to quiet luxuries. It’s more of a mindset. It involves setting time aside and being with your thoughts. It’s a gift you give yourself to step away from a screen. Maybe connect with friends. Light a candle and give your eyes a break from all that blue light your screen produces. I’m not a fan of “aspirational lifestyle stuff” and all the trappings they come with. I like to focus on tips and tricks that are attainable.
One of my favorite quiet luxuries is to write ideas down in a paper journal. I set a few hours aside and do a major brain dump of all the stuff that’s been floating around in my mind. I need to let it marinate for a few days on paper. When I come back to it in a few days, I start to organize it. Projects I want to work on, new creative challenges, seeds I want to plant, places I want to go. Patterns start to emerge (Texas keeps coming up, also an idea for a book, and ways I can improve this site.)
I take a look at a year and divide it into three 100-day parcels. And then I start assigning projects to various chunks in the three 100 days segments. Once the list has been sorted, dates are assigned. So: segment 1: January-March; segment 2: April-June; segment 3: July- August. What about Sept- December? That is a cleanup segment, which simply means stuff might shift around.
This might sound way too organized for you. For me, I need this kind of structure in my life. I thrive with a production schedule. Never used a production schedule? Think of it as a To Do list but with specific due dates of deliverables. I find it key to having a full-time job and running a project on the side like this.
Here are some more quiet luxuries that will set you up for a fantastic 2020:
Dark Chocolate Grown up candy bars with high cacao is something you will always find in my pantry. They are a nice way to close out a meal or snap off a square between meals.
Licorice Allsorts Major sugar rush, but so fun. The bright color palette makes me feel like I’m a little kid. The sugar infusion might not calm you down, but when was the last time you indulged in these?
Field Notes Notebook Up your note-taking game with this notebook. Why do you need a notebook in 2020? I just finished Everything Is Figuroutable by Marie Forleo. In a section called “How to increase your odds of success by 42 percent” Marie says, “An oft-cited study done by Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at Dominican University of California, shows that you’re 42 percent more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down. Gail’s sample group include men and women, ages 23 to 72, from around the world and all walks of life. She divided the participants into two groups, those who wrote down their goals and those who didn’t. The results were clear. Those who wrote down their goals achieved those desires at a significantly higher level than those who didn’t.” Add this Muji pen to the mix and you are unstoppable.
Vinyl Albums On the weekends I use a General Electric automatic solid state record player. It was a hand-me-down from a family member. The sound quality isn’t that great. What comes out of the speaker is higher than hi fidelity. It’s beautiful. All kinds of pops, hisses, and garbles you don’t get from steaming. I’ve hit many a church sale and netted some great albums. They generally run you about a dollar. Hours of entertainment will follow.
Pencils A sharp lead tip in a pencil made from wood. The sound it makes dancing across a fresh clean sheet of notebook paper. So much more exciting than the clicking keyboard sound.
Matches My primary source of matches come from restaurants. The strike and swipe to light a candle on Friday night is a moment to savor. It signals the end of a week and means things slow down. When I blow the match out, the afterburn smells like birthday.
Ear Plugs Nothing is more luxurious than a good nights sleep. You wake up feeling refreshed and unstoppable. To ensure uninterrupted slumber roll these foam babies between your fingers and insert them into your ears just before bedtime. Listen up as the world slips away and you drift into slumber.
Got some quiet luxuries of your own? Please share and add to this list!