America’s economy is in flux, and so are many of us. Our nation’s financial crisis may be just the thing to force us to realize what truly matters most. Will this time be what teaches us who we are, who we choose to be, what we are made of and what we decide to focus upon? Will we re-evaluate how we choose to spend our money and realize that material things are not what define us? Will we discover our authenticity and express love and ideas without swiping a credit card to do so? This is our opportunity to dig a little deeper, appreciating the simple daily practices in life and finding joy in the so-called “ordinary”.
This can be accomplished by doing what I call “elevating the everyday”. Suddenly mundane items are put together to create special rituals—and it can start with your morning cup-o-joe. Whether you French-press or percolate, go ahead and use your stowed away china cup, saucer, sugar and creamer to dress up the event. Treat yourself to grandma’s linen napkin and use a vintage silver spoon to stir in the cream. You can even wake up a little bit earlier to nestle yourself in your favorite chair with the morning paper—and presto!—instant luxury within a simple daily activity.
Heading off to the shower can even take on a new feeling when you choose to use the special towels and soaps that are typically reserved for your house guests. What are you saving them for? Enjoy them, appreciate them and dress up the everyday experience of starting out your work day. After the daily grind, you may even choose to treat yourself to a bath to take the edge off. Light a candle and grab a glass of your favorite beverage and the act of reflecting on your day takes on a whole new vibe.
When in the office, organize your desk and surrounding areas to elevate your mood at work. Get rid of the clutter and take on an attitude that papers that cross your desk should not linger or be touched more than once. Deal with paperwork immediately and you will be amazed how feelings of stress can plummet. Using and displaying special comforts such as a company-given pen or a framed family photo provide a mental pick-me-up throughout the day. Open the door and raise the blinds to introduce air and light as see how your creativity and productivity soar.
When it is time to hit the sheets would a little linen water spray or extra fabric softener add a welcome freshness? Are there flowers that can be clipped from the yard and set bedside in a unique container or vase? Even dimming the lights or cuing up your favorite tunes can provide an environment of relaxation and serenity that doesn’t cost a thing.
Choose to embrace the simple things in life. Choose to give them meaning. Choose to appreciate what you have without having the need to search for more. We can easily be fulfilled by opening our cupboards and polishing up what we’ve got—it is all about how one chooses to use current possessions within newly created daily rituals and by implementing the practice of “elevating the everyday”.
For more ideas relating to the home design and its detailed interiors, look for my newly authored book due out June 2009 called Home: A Sunset Design Guide found in Home Depot, Lowe’s Borders and Amazon.