I chanced upon this quote while reading The Gentle Art of Domesticity by Jane Brocket which, coincidentally, is something I count as one of those small pleasures in my life. Daniel Gilbert, known at Harvard as Professor Happiness, summed up his research in a popular book, Stumbling on Happiness. His findings indicate that it is actually the routine, everyday sort of things that really make us happy. We may think that if we could just win the lottery or publish that novel or fill-in-the-blank, then we could be really happy. But research shows that we often wrongly predict how happy or unhappy some event in the future will make us. We catastrophize things that end up being not so bad, and we tend to overlook the little things that can actually make a huge impact on our well-being. Jane Brocket adds that,
It helps to have a state of mind that can turn even the smallest indulgence into a luxury. This means looking positively at your life — considering not what you want to have, but what you can, or already, have. It means deciding for yourself what you class as luxury and not following the media’s overblown ideas… Pretty buttons, trimmings, ribbons, lovely yarn, half a yard of a beautiful fabric, a good novel or a book of poetry, a few squares of chocolate, a box of French macaroons — all are strung on my personal necklace of luxuries.
“Girl in the Café” by Maile Lani
I love the image of a “necklace of luxuries” – all of the little things you love in life, strung together in a long, happy chain. Some of my little luxuries include: an afternoon spent reading, a leisurely home-cooked breakfast, a bouquet of flowers, red nail polish, a walk through a nursery or garden in spring, good movies, and sitting down to write in a cozy café. What would make up your necklace of little luxuries?
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