There’s a lottery here in New Zealand that promises that if you win, you can live the life of a rich person. You will win a house, a European car and a boat, and many other things. Even though I am happy with the house and car I have, and don’t have any interest in owning a boat, it still appeals more than winning ‘just’ a big money prize. I don’t know why this is, but it just does!
A L’Oréal competition I entered a few years ago had a roll-call of different prizes for the lucky winner that included:
Fresh flowers delivered every week
A fancy car lease
Regular facials and massage
Along with quite a few other services that you could have for the year.
I think it was the total package that appealed. I could just step into a lifestyle of ease and beauty. The visuals they chose were attractive too – a beautiful home and well-tended garden, a serene lady in the photos.
Even when I didn’t win, I kept the entry form just to drink in that feeling. It’s silly I know, but I still enjoyed the dream.
So since I didn’t win (dangit), I thought I’d list down ways in which I can feel like I am living a wealthy life, on our moderate household income, in the medium-sized normal house that we live in, in the middle of suburbia.
Visit art galleries for an exhibition. Even though I am a total philistine when it comes to culture (there are many other things I would choose to do instead), whenever I visit an art exhibition I come away feeling so uplifted and remember why it is that art is so important to us and has been for thousands of years.
Stay the night at a fancy hotel in your own town. My husband and I do this once or twice a year. We go for quality over quantity. Our favourite five-star hotel is such a pleasure to stay at. We take our nicest clothing and best fragrance and dress up for drinks. We definitely get good value for money because apart from the experience of spending twenty-four hours there, I return home refreshed and re-inspired to live a beautiful life.
Remember chic mentors and think how would they act in certain situations. This helps me out when deciding what to have for lunch or avoiding junky snacks at the supermarket. It helps me drink plenty of water during the day and also to keep my speaking voice soft. Remembering my chic mentors helps me take the non-lazy path when I am tempted to be a slob. They help me sit up straight too.
Eat fruits, salads, and protein, drink unsweetened herbal tea or mineral water – rich ladies are often slim and this is what I imagine they would eat. I read in a couple of different interviews with Joan Collins that she eats a whole avocado with her lunchtime salad every day. Ms Collins is 82 now and looks pretty good, so I have started eating more avocado too.
One of my loveliest and most elegant friends is of a certain age, very wealthy and very slim. I have noted she eats small portions of food when we are out for lunch and drinks tea but never coffee, and never eats sweet things. She told me if she cooks dinner for one when her husband is out she has a small piece of salmon and some steamed vegetables or a salad. I have started doing this too. It is much more chic and you feel a lot better than taking that same night at home by yourself to pig out on your ‘favourite’ junk foods.
Visit wealthy areas to window shop and absorb the atmosphere. Take note of what others are wearing and how they hold themselves. I often observe that they are quietly confident in doing their own thing and not looking around wondering if others are watching them or feeling self-conscious.
Declutter so that you only have your favourite and very best, be it crockery, blouses or craft supplies. Donate the rest to charity. I promise you will feel wealthier when you next open your wardrobe door, pantry or craft cupboard.
I did this with my knitting yarns a while back. I have a small stash of wool, and then I was given my grandmother-in-law’s giant amount when she moved into a rest home. I was the only knitter in the family so I got it all! I donated all the colours I did not like to two different animal shelters to make toys to sell, plus to make blankets for the cat cages and jerseys for the small dogs.
I did a few sifts and I suppose I must have done a big one and forgotten about it, because when I went looking for some yarn to knit a toy mouse recently (as you do), I had hardly anything left! Just one small sized storage bin with all the nicest and best balls of wool yarn.
I was a bit shocked at first but then I realised I would have to make a toy mouse from something nice, not the unattractive colours and acrylic yarn. I’d forced myself to take my own advice. I sometimes think I declutter in my sleep. I might think to myself ‘I’ll donate that item, I haven’t used it in ages’. When I go to look for it I realise I’ve already donated it…
I’d love to know, what does your expensive life contain?