As I read Frugal Luxuries by Tracey McBride, I find that I share many of her ideas.
She writes in chapter 7:
You are the caretaker of your own happiness. As such, you must discover the positive pleasure in performing the tasks that enhance the essence of life itself:
- Collecting, preparing, and preserving foods
- Feeding an empty stomach with wholesome, tasty, nourishing fare
- Relaxing in a thoroughly cleaned home (preferably your own)
- Settling to sleep on sweet-smelling sheets that have been freshly laundered
- Awakening your senses via working in your vegetable or herb garden
- Learning an interesting, useful skill
All of these humble activities offer, to the person who has the presence of mind to enjoy them, a touchstone of reality. It is this touchstone that allows you to unmask false pleasures, such as vanity and expensive luxuries (all of which tend to enslave the spirit). The true pleasures, found in performing the ordinary tasks, awaken us to a sense of homecoming and allow us to recover ourselves, our distinctness, and our sense of worth.
This is exactly what I meant when I identified “domestic bliss” as one of my personal values. I’ve realized that cooking, cleaning, sewing, gardening, etc. are only drudgery if I make them so.
I look forward to weekends not only because I don’t have to commute 50 miles and spend 8+ hours at work, but because it’s my time to live, create, and tend to the things that matter most.
With this post, I’m off to Denmark, and begin a painful week far away from these simple pleasures and all that’s important to me. If events and time permit, I’ll post from across the Atlantic. If not, I’ll be back next Saturday, hopefully with photos and a story or two to share.
Frugal Luxuries is not a Tightwad Gazette type “how to” book. It’s more for people who are already living simply and would like to do so with elegance, style, and grace. Think Amy Dacyczyn meets Martha Stewart.