The little things I do that feel like abundant living

The little things I do that feel like abundant living

Earlier this week I shared 10 things I learned last year, including “don’t overthink it,” something I said (and I’m not kidding here) could totally have been my motto for the year, in hindsight. And it’s a theme I want to carry into the next.

These are words to live by, for me, because I’m so good at making things harder than they need to be—whether it’s choosing which brand of rice to buy at the grocery, or crafting the perfect response to an email, or finessing my family’s after-school schedule. For me, Don’t overthink it means good enough is good enough, and done is better than perfect. This mini-mantra is about saving mental energy and getting things done.

But recently, my husband reminded me that Don’t overthink it doesn’t have to be just about practicalities and decision-fatigue aversion. Don’t overthink it can also bring a lot more simple abundance into my life.

Will was reading one of Ramit’s blog posts, in which he tells the story of a friend whose house looks like it came out of a design blog. He finally realized that the reason her house looks so great is that she always has fresh flowers in her home. Always. And when he asked her about it, she confessed that she had them delivered every week, like clockwork, because it made her happy.

Hey, you do that! Will said, and it’s true. Well, in a sense: mine aren’t beautiful, artisanal flowers from an NYC delivery service. They’re not delivered, they’re from Trader Joe’s—and I pick them out myself. But I do it like clockwork: I buy flowers every time I’m there (unless my peonies are blooming). I’m naturally frugal, and at a certain point I had to consciously decide that it was worth spending money on flowers, and to put it on autopilot. Now I don’t think about it, just plop them in my cart, no decision required. It costs somewhere around $5, and it makes me really, really happy.

Those flowers aren’t a big deal, but they make a big difference in how I think and feel. It makes me happy to see them (usually on my kitchen counter) all week long; it’s a little thing that has an outsized effect on my days.

It feels like abundance.

Our household conversation about the flowers made me stop and think about other things I do, without thinking, because they make me happy. Because they may be little things, but they feel like abundance.

It’s cold here now, and dreary is the new normal, and I’ve been lighting candles as part of my morning routine instead of “saving” them for special occasions. (It’s been so hard for me to break the habit of hoarding the good stuff!) I clean up breakfast, wipe down the counters, and light a candle that will give the kitchen a warm glow and make the house smell amazing.

I buy good pens—not fancy pens, but good ones—because they’re an inexpensive splurge and totally worth the money, for me.

I spend an extra dollar on my favorite brand of laundry detergent, “favorite” mostly meaning “best-smelling.”

Some of the things that make my days a little more pleasant are actual, tangible, material goods—flowers, pens, cleaning supplies. But that feeling of abundance doesn’t have to carry a price tag.

Reading for a bit during the day used to be part of my daily routine; it’s not anymore, hasn’t been for a while. I feel like I’m in a spacious place when I take a novel break (that is: a break involving a novel) in the middle of the day. Even for fifteen minutes. (A good cup of coffee doesn’t hurt this situation.)

Leaving the house a little early for my destination doesn’t feel like a waste of time anymore; it feels like an absolute luxury. The early departure feels like I’m writing a note to self, that says: I have all the time I need.

Recently, breaking for yoga during my workday makes me feel like … I have time to break for yoga. And I like to feel like I have time. It makes me feel abundant, like I have resources to spare.

These may not be your things, but they’re little things that I enjoy way more than it seems I should, based on how tiny they are, and how little they cost me in resources.

Do you have little things in your life that bring you an outsized amount of happiness? Do you have words you’re resolving to live by in the year to come? Please tell us all about it in comments!

P.S. 7 ways I’m minimizing decision fatigue in my everyday life, and 9 little things I’m loving right now.

108 comments | Comment

108 comments

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  1. Addie says:

    My motto for this year is “Its happening for you, not to you.” Before this year, I always felt used and abused and I realized that there is nothing I can do about how other people treat me, but I can change my own perspective about whats happening in my life. So thinking about things happening “for” me instead of “to” me – even the bad things which I can learn from, is already helping.

  2. Kay says:

    I loved this post. I hardly ever buy fresh flowers for myself because they feel like a hug luxury, but this week I did because the house looks so gloomy now all the Christmas decorations are down. I bought the cheapest possible flowers at the supermarket, and they made me so happy. It is often the little things that make all the difference. x

    • Victoria says:

      I think it was a typo but when I read it for the first time I thought “hug luxury” was a lovely way to think of it. Flowers you buy yourself are a ‘hug luxury’; a small luxury that feels like a hug. Buying a real Christmas tree even though we were away for 10 days in December. Bunches and bunches of daffodils in my cottage shaped basket come spring. The lavender hand soap and rose scented candles that help me concentrate working from home.
      I know we’re supposed to be looking at ways to be frugal and treat yo’self can get out of hand, but with Anne’s thinking of properly recognising these things, they are money well spent and a little hug each time we stop to appreciate them.

    • Martha says:

      Wow, these posts have changed my day! I’m so looking forward to bringing fresh flowers into my home and I can appreciate lighting a candle every day just to give the house a warm glow throughout this dreary winter.

  3. Adrienne Hudson says:

    Hi Anne! I loved your quote “good enough is good enough, and done is better than perfect.” Yes! Such a good thing to remind ourselves of often.
    Some little things that bring me a great deal of happiness: Mrs Meyers bluebell dish soap (it smells lovely!), big bars of scented bath soap that come wrapped in pretty paper, Stash ‘Breakfast in Paris” black tea, and thick new kitchen towels (I like the Pioneer Woman’s towels). Also my daughter got me a set of Pentel gel pens in a rainbow of colors for Christmas which I use for writing my Bible study notes. They make writing a pure pleasure.
    Have a great day!

  4. Dee says:

    I love this post so much! Although I’m not entirely coming at it form the same place, my word of the year is Joy and I am doing some of these things to invite more Joy into my life. (I had been feeling that my life was all about productivity and striving. Not bad things, but not necessarily joyful either.)

  5. Lisa Zahn says:

    “Don’t overthink it” could also be my motto this year. I’m working really hard to not feel the need to shop at 6 different grocery stores to get the best prices. A habit I picked up from The Tightwad Gazette years ago (remember that?), it has been making me crazy for a few years now, since I started working. I don’t need to be THAT frugal any more. Sadly, I have a memory for prices everywhere, but paying $2 extra for oranges isn’t going to break the bank. So I’m just doing it. Also, I’m buying myself flowers at least once a week–just $6 carnations, usually white, that I make into at least 3 bouquets for various rooms, and I love the simplicity.

    • Susan says:

      My mom totally went to 3 grocery stores every Saturday morning and still shops at multiple stores to get the best price (although no longer on Sat. a.m. now that she’s retired). I’ve decided my time is as finite a resource as my money, and the cost/benefit analysis on this one doesn’t make it worth an extra hour or two of my time every week to save $20. I do make frugal choices at my neighborhood Jewel, but yes, I am paying more than I would at Aldi and I’m ok with that!

      • Lisa Zahn says:

        My husband reminds me of the exact same thing: my time is worth more than the little bit I save. Still, it’s a mind game that’s hard to get out of. I’m working on it! I’m glad you have avoided the insanity. 🙂

        • Jodi says:

          I’ve finally started using free shopping/pickup (@ Walmart). It has rocked my world. Order it all and pay online. Show up during your selected window of time and they come out and place all of the groceries in your vehicle. Now I can spend that time doing other stuff, I avoid impulse purchases and I’m quicker to get needed supplies because I don’t forget about them/leave my list at home (ex. Lightbulbs). It’s not my preferred store, but until they start providing this service, I can make do. Try it!

    • Anne says:

      I used to do that, too. I think it probably made sense at the time, but now just shopping at one store feels pretty great.

      And I also really love buying a single flower, in a single color—my arranging skills aren’t great and I feel like this is my cheater’s approach to a classy-looking bouquet. 🙂

  6. Terry says:

    LOL. I was just at Trader Joe’s yesterday, looked at the yummy lime green and white mums… and passed. What is wrong with me? Thanks for your post and the reminder that it’s the little things that get us through the day! BTW I loved your book, got it for Christmas and read it on a road trip to Denver.

  7. Whitney Bak says:

    Thanks for this amazing post, Anne! I’m feeling inspired to buy some flowers 🙂 And, I can totally resonate with the impact of a mid-day yoga session or giving myself extra driving time. I often leave for things early with the intrinsic promise that if I arrive somewhere early I can do a little extra reading.

    My (unofficial) motto for this year is shaping up to be “it’s time.” From considering a family move across the world to trying new, creative things in my career and encouraging my husband to do the same, I think this will be the year of the (calculated) “YES!”

  8. Amanda says:

    I love having fresh flowers in the house, but typically only get them for the kids’ birthday parties (I might as well decorate with something I’ll enjoy). I’ve given my sister bunches of flowers from the various birthday parties, and she’s always super appreciative (even though she didn’t have a real vase of her own). For Christmas, I made her a DIY monthly flower subscription – she got a vase, and little notes with $10 for each month. Then she just has to go out and pick out the flowers she wants.

    I love L’Occitane Almond shower oil and moisturizer – they just feel and smell so pretty! And vanilla candles in the evening after dinner – just to get the cooking smells out of the house so it’s nice and fresh again. And Rao’s tomato sauce – it’s the closest I can get to the sauce from a restaurant I worked at when I was a teenager.

  9. Yvonne says:

    Drinking my entire cup of tea while it is still hot feels like abundance to me right now because I am stopping and pausing what I am doing to just enjoy my tea. I am so glad you wrote this post…I am going to be thinking about this as I go through my day!

  10. Jere says:

    Down South we give small gifts to friends, neighbors..anyone, when we want to say thanks,missed you, feel better…anything. We give it with a “I just brought you a “Little Happy” it does bring a smile and and makes one feel Happy. Feeling Happy does make a big difference. Jere

  11. Meghan says:

    I’ve also been enjoying a break in the afternoons to read. It’s part of honoring my body’s energy; rather than keep pushing and fighting, I just take 30 minutes or even an hour to read. Sometimes it’s a novel, sometimes it’s research for work, but it always feels so lovely, and I’m ready to get back to work after. I also stopped making myself drag my laptop to my sons’ activities, and now just enjoy the hour spent at soccer or taekwondo chatting with friends and knitting, or reading. Now, my tea is ready and it’s time to settle in to work for the morning, with my twinkle lights and my dog!

  12. I love the idea of lighting candles regularly. My housemates and I have them all over our house, but they’re decorative more than anything else right now. It does feel like they should be “saved for special times,” but I think you’ve inspired me to use them more often! Makes no sense to just have them sitting around when I love the glow and the smell.

    • Lisa Zahn says:

      Just light the candles! 🙂

      I buy tealights in 100 packs at Target or IKEA, and have pretty, shiny holders to put them in. They make such a nice glow, and in the darkest hours of winter, I sometimes have 5 or 6 going at a time (bathroom, living room, bedroom) and it makes me so happy.

  13. Natasha says:

    Trader Joe’s is an hour from my home but when I am there I treat myself to a $3.99 bouquet plus their flowers stay fresh in a vase for a long time! Other indulgences for me include fabric softener, pretty notebooks for list making, good socks ( I used to go cheap on socks but have come to realize if my feet are comfortable my whole body feels better), perfume, candles, and expensive chocolate.

  14. Gail Lind says:

    It is a gloomy day here(unusual for Phoenix) and I am going to light the candle my granddaughter gave me Christmas, instead of saving it.

  15. Lauren Tanis says:

    “It’s been so hard for me to break the habit of hoarding the good stuff!“
    This resonated with me so much! When I moved this summer, I realized how much stuff I was hoarding, unused, while I was packing. Things I loved, but was saving for some unknown “right” time. All the things could (and should) be enjoyed, and then (gasp!) repurchased! This post was a much-needed reminder to stop hoarding and allow a little luxury into my everyday life. Thank you!

  16. Jill D says:

    My mantra for the last year has been –
    Do not let the perfect become the enemy of the good or good enough.

    It has saved me from a lot of unnecessary work and helps me to get things done. I plan to carry it forward this year.

  17. Janean says:

    Anne, you should read The Little Book of Hygee: Danish Secrets of Happy Living if you haven’t read it yet. I thought it was kind of a silly little gift book when I bought it, but I’ve found it really helpful in the area of allowing myself the little indulgences that you’re describing. There’s a whole chapter on light and candles and how important they are to the Danes. It was very fascinating and I think it would free you up to keep striking those matches! In sum, the book really helped me understand how important our environment is to our happiness and what we can do to cultivate a happy one. It’s a super quick (and purse size) read!

  18. Kimberly says:

    Yes, yes, yes!!! I also light candles in the morning, buy flowers each week, and I buy the more expensive hand soap just for the smell…and the feeling it gives me each time I use it.

    I read a book in the late 80’s when I was a very young mother than transformed the way I looked at my daily routines…Creating A Beautiful Home by Alexandra Stodddard. (also Living a Beautiful Life) She pointed out that 95% of our time is spent on these “daily tasks” such as laundry, dishes, working, sleeping, eating….why not elevate those tasks. That’s why I buy the soap that makes me happy each time I smell it, and the sheets that feel smooth and crisp…creating a beautiful, abundant life!

    • Amy C says:

      My mom used to read Alexandra’s books, and I read them too, even as a kid. She makes such good points about injecting beauty into your life in the simple things. I need to pull her books back out and read them! 🙂

      • Judy says:

        Amy! I bet your Mother and I are the same age. I own and have read and re-read every one of Alexandra Stoddard’s books! I find them timeless and each time I re-read one of them, I am either re-inspired or inspired anew by some lovely tip I missed the first 5 times I read the book. Since I was a young girl, nothing has brought me more delight than sending handwritten letters to family and friends. One of the first things I incorporated into my life was her advice to buy pens in my favorite color of ink and to purchase the best stationery I could afford for my letter writing, That was back in 1987 and still a small, but a delightful luxury I give to myself. Thank you for reminding me, Amy.

    • Gail Lind says:

      I also read Alexandra Stoddard’s books in the ’80’s when I was raising my family and was inspired by her ideas for an “abundant life”. Perhaps I will find her books and read them again.

  19. Katie says:

    I loved this so much, I will have to think on it some more and let it soak in. Candles and good hand soap at the sink are probably my most frequent material splurges. There’s been a shift over the past 7 years of my life from quantity (aka cheap) to quality. I was so set on what can I get for the cheapest price (so that I can get more) and now I try to do with less so that I can go for better quality where it counts. It makes me feel good to have “nice” things, even if it is just the foaming bath and body works hand soap.

  20. Christine says:

    You’ve included here one of my favorite phrases you’ve ever said (aside from your tagline of your podcast, that is)… “Done is better than perfect.” You said it during the Bookstagram class and I wrote it down in my notes. It’s really something that, as a perfectionist, I have to work to remember. Thanks for saying it again at the beginning of a new year. Also, I’m all about little touches that add beauty and specialness to everyday life… wonderful post!

  21. Nichole says:

    I actually got up and lit a candle while I was reading this post. Thanks for the reminder!

    I started allowing myself to truly splurge on coffee several months ago and I have never looked back. Now, I was drinking good coffee before…maybe even great coffee, but now at LEAST once a month I’m drinking absolutely amazing coffee thanks to my subscription service.

    I have also started allowing myself time to read during the day. Sometimes it’s while my kids play around me, sometimes it’s at their activities, and sometimes it’s while I “should” be doing things like laundry. Taking that time for me feels luxurious…even if it’s only 15 minutes.

    Finally, I joined a gym for the first time in years. I’m a runner, and I will always prefer an outdoor run, but I have finally come to terms with the fact that “mom of three” and running outside sometimes just don’t jive. So I’m logging treadmill miles and they feel better than no miles.

  22. Brenda says:

    This is a fantastic blog. We must be on the same wavelength…I’ve been rolling around the same ideas in my mind. I want to treat myself better and give myself a break. Last month I signed up for a free Audible trial. The trial ended last week and boy, did I debate with myself if the $15/mo cost was “too much” and/or a necessary expense. I bit the bullet and am so glad I did. Now on my commute to and from work each day, which triggers a lot of stress, I can escape to a different world. I almost hope for traffic! It’s such a simple thing, but paying $15/mo to reduce my stress on the road is turning out to be money well spent.

  23. Amy C says:

    Weekly flowers are a must. I can’t believe how life-changing it feels to have fresh flowers in the house. My husband LOVES it! If I’m home, there’s a candle burning. Always. While I do go in for some special (and thus pricier brands) at times, good old Bath and Body Works candles scent the entire house and I know what my favorites are by now. I splurge on Williams-Sonoma kitchen towels and soaps. When you spend so much time doing dishes, you might as well enjoy it (kind of!). Mrs. Meyers is great, too!

  24. Emily says:

    I gave myself permission to buy frozen broccoli instead of fresh to save myself time. I felt guilty at first, but getting off work, doing homework with my 5 kids and then making dinner was killing me and this simple thing makes it significantly easier for nominal extra expense.

    We also use cheap refillable hand soap in all of our bathrooms (like Softsoap, with a huge bottle to refill under the kid’s sink) and a few months ago I bought a stash of fancy hand soap and hid it in my bathroom and now that’s what I use. It makes me so happy! Such a sweet little splurge.

    I always love your posts!

    • Anne says:

      I was JUST telling my husband how there’s a big difference between believing there’s a “best” way to do something (like cook broccoli) and getting dinner on the table on a Tuesday night. 🙂

  25. Helena says:

    Coffee! Walking to my favorite cafe for an afternoon break and splurging on coffee instead of making it in the office is an affordable luxury.

  26. Michelle Lunsford says:

    I love this post! It includes some good, basic truth of which I think I already knew yet needed to be reminded. I want to reflect more on both these ideas – learning to not overthink things (I so suffer from the desire for perfectionism), and doing those little things that bring abundance into my life. Worthy goals to work on improving for myself in the new year.

  27. Gina says:

    This is a great post and reminder as we start off a new year. Thank you for writing it. I am going to pay attention to the little things I do that make me feel special> I can think of a few – that evening cup of tea and sometimes a special treat with it, special hand lotion that smells so good and I agree – my favorite pens. I’m sure there are more though!

  28. Steph says:

    I love “feels like abundance.” I’ve been holding on the line on working only 75% time, but I must confess, it made me feel a bit like a failure–why can everyone else seem to handle working full time when it makes me feel like a frantic mess? I would say it was because I needed “margin.” But flipping it this way makes me feel like I’m inviting abundance (when I can be home by 5:30 or join that mid-day fitness class) which feels so much better. Even if I don’t get the promotion 🙂

  29. Ann-Marie Ulczynski says:

    It really can be so simple. Using the fluffy wash cloth, lighting the candle, setting up the tea pot the night before. All of these bring me joy and make me smile.

  30. Ripple says:

    Even reading this post alone made me feel so cosy and just nice. I think I also like to know I have time. Time to read, time to study some languages, time to watch a good movie, time to just take a breath. Everything feels so much calmer and peaceful – I feel at peace with myself. These days in our fast fast world time is a luxury.

  31. Diana says:

    I SO agree on the fresh flowers and something I really need to start doing, at least once a month, ESPECIALLY in these dreary winter months. Adding to my mental to-do…

  32. What a great post! I have not been buying the flowers because it feels like money could be used other places, but this reminds me that they make me happy. In Europe, they were part of my budget since so many people had fresh flowers. Adding it back in today!
    Other things I do to feel that little more luxurious is some craft time during the day, or a bubble bath after the kids are in bed, and always having good coffee or tea to make an afternoon pick-me-up.

  33. Based on the last couple of years, I know that January is a tough month for me mentally. A combination of Wisconsin winter and post-holiday funk. This year I came in prepared. During the week I sit and drink a cup of coffee with both hands with the kids before school. The both hands part is key- not one hand holding the cup and the other signing papers, etc. I’m focused on them and finishing a cup of coffee before it gets cold is such a treat!

    I also started using my diffuser everyday in my office. I just pick a scent that makes me happy. Oh- and I bought a heap of new pens for journaling. Nothing beats a good pen!

  34. We budget for fresh flowers at least weekly. We consider them a necessity.

    We also enjoy burning candles every night. Some of our favorites are by Voluspa, Boulangerie, Diptyque, and I love how the hot wax from Aveda’s Shampure candle can be used as a hand treatment.

    Most Friday nights, we stay in and have Cheese Plate Friday Nights. We’re both tired by the end of the week, and it’s nice not to have to worry about cooking (our cheese plates are pretty awesome) and when we can, we take our plate outside and watch movies by our outdoor fireplace.

    I also like to splurge on hand lotion because I’m an artist and they take a beating! I love Aveda’s rosemary hand lotion because it sinks in quickly.

    A good smelling washing up liquid can make your whole kitchen smell like heaven. My favorite is The Fresh Market’s Tupelo Honey and Fig.

    This will be the last thing I post, but I have a serious sock addiction, and my favorites lately are the World’s Softest Socks from Alter’d State.

    • Anne says:

      Now I want to try every one of those candles, and I adore the idea of cheese plate Fridays! We have pizza Fridays around here, but I like your idea better 🙂

      • We have different types of cheeses (aged, creamy or soft, firm, blue, etc…). Then we have a variety of crackers and flatbreads. Next, we add meats, like hard salami, prosciutto, and capicola. Then we have marcona almonds drizzled with honey and figs. I know it sounds like a lot, but we only have enough for two people. There’s a great book with some excellent ideas (even a Star Wars theme) for cheese plates entitled The Art of the Cheese Plate by Tia Keenan. Honestly the most fun part is during the week when we have time, we try to find the best cheeses for that week. We are such pitiful nerds with no social life! ;P

        • Nichole says:

          This is one of our favorite things to do for an “at home date night” after our kids are in bed. The cheese plate is easy to put together and easy to clean up so it doesn’t feel like a lot of work late at night!

  35. Judy says:

    All of you who live near a Trader Joe’s are such lucky duckies! Their fresh flower bouquets are splendid! I live in a smallish city which has nothing remotely close to Trader Joe’s. Whenever we visit my parents who live in a large urban area, I always make a point to run by the Trader Joe’s store near their home to pick up a glorious bouquet for my Mother!

  36. Steph says:

    Thanks for the justification for buying good pens! I am pretty miserly but I do love good baked goods. Also, the New York Times. I have it up when my son was born but when we moved to Louisville it’s much cheaper than it was out west so I asked my husband for it for Christmas 🙂

  37. Vanessa says:

    This is about the craziest thing but when I have to sand anything I always use those pieces up! Considering that it’s just sand glued onto paper, it is surprisingly expensive. One day, out in my garage, low on sandpaper once again, I was wondering when I would ever feel like there was enough money to buy enough sandpaper, I finally told myself – “I live a life of abundance.” Most of us do these days, in this country anyway. And if I started buying sandpaper so that there was plenty available for the next time there was a project that would be very helpful and I wouldn’t starve to death because of that expenditure. It made more sense to just keep it on the shelf, rather than to label it too expensive and feel bad about needing more, which I was doing. I have been pretty good about sand paper ever since.

    • Victoria says:

      This reminded me of the post about dental floss and pulling out a big enough piece that was easy to use. Sandpaper is one of those things you can try to use every square inch, when getting a new piece would make the job easier.

  38. Ruth says:

    I love this post, and so many commenters have wonderful ideas as well. I think a key to so much of the suggestions is being mindful. Really take in the scent of the ‘good’ soap, or the glory of that bouquet on the counter. Mindfulness elevates them and maintains the pleasure we derive from them.

    • Becky says:

      I love homemade soap. I try to buy quite a few to break up the Dove I normally buy. I usually do a handmade soap after every bar of Dove I use. This way I can still enjoy the soap without cringing at the costs so much.

  39. Becky says:

    I use to light candles every night in the winter. I love candle light. Unfortunately, since my dad has gone on 24/7 oxygen, I can no longer do this. I have now gone to flameless candles. It is not quite the same, but still gives me that warm feeling at night.

  40. Katherine says:

    Half and half (instead of milk) feels like abundant living to me. We never had it in the house growing up because my mother was- ahem- frugal. I buy it every week and feel like I am really living in the lap of luxury.

  41. Vanessa says:

    This is awesome. Thanks Anne! And yes, your comment of not hoarding the good stuff resonates. It is so hard to start to change, but I agree, so worth it! For some reason it brought to mind Brene Brown’s Daring Greatly though I’m not exactly sure why. Wishing you a lovely 2018! Thanks always for your lovely retrospective posts!

  42. Summer says:

    I take a 2:00ish break on days when I’m at home. I make myself tea or coffee and sit down to do something that I WANT to do, not need to do. Sometimes that means listening to music, sometimes I read. Some days I take a walk, other days I watch Instagram stories, and still others I journal. It all depends on what I feel like doing!

  43. Pam says:

    Nice sheets and towels! I just splurged on a set of Macy’s Hotel Collection sheets – I can’t wait to get in bed at night. They are so smooth and crisp and just yummy.

  44. Joy in Alabama says:

    For years I used an ugly set of Corell that would not die. Then one day, I got rid of them and moved my company dishes to every day and my china and silver, which I had moved around for 40 years but never used, for company. It made me SO INCREDIBLY happy. Why did I wait so long? I’ve also started buying flowers (so inexpensive at our Publix) and I have nicer towels and soap for my bathroom than for the kids’. I have almost finished homeschooling and raising 9 kids and, by golly, I can have some nice soap and nice plates! Haha

  45. Elizabeth says:

    wow, how intense for you and how difficult. May God comfort you in this. and God remember your friend in His Kingdom! and comfort his newly wedded wife :(… how tragic all of that is!!! Lord have mercy!

  46. Jamie says:

    I’ve been thinking about this post for the past couple of days because it is such a breath of fresh air. Wanted to add my two cents:
    A mini trampoline a friend was ready to pitch = fun workouts our boys join in with me
    Daisies in a turquoise vase to ring in a new year
    Using fancy, gifted Christmas coffee to press my coffee just so each morning
    Printing pics off my phone to hang around our house and remind me of how abundant our life really is
    Deciding henceforth I will only be purchasing tunic length sweaters and getting that daily uniform/simplicity feeling
    Asking Alexa to play soothing music in the mornings

    Thanks for the thought-provoking post!

  47. I love the idea of ‘small abundances’. I love having flowers in the house but rarely buy them; the expense seems extravagant. I bought some today and they are giving me pleasure each time I see them. I also treated myself to an online letter writing course, it looks delightful and although I don’t know when I’ll fit it in, I’m excited to start.
    Thanks for your wonderful blog and delightful podcast.

  48. Sami says:

    Wow Anne Thank you so much for this. I’m going through a similar thing with finding my “morning routine” what makes me happy and feeling good to start the day. This idea on abundance really resonates with me. Its so unique to each of us and I find for me it’s really soup to nuts the things that truly ring abundant for me. Like my tea time. Taking my 3pm afternoon tea with my favourite cup is so luxurious to me. Thanks for this great post.

  49. Linda says:

    Love your notion of weekly flowers–alstroemeria lasts for two weeks with good maintenance (fresh water and re-cutting stems regularly). Am gonna buy some candles, too.
    I spent 2017 researching chocolate. A relatively inexpensive (and indulgent) pursuit of permanent pleasure. A different brand, a different bar each week until I discovered which truly satisfied me most thoroughly. There are SO many (!) but I persevered.
    Now I keep my favorites on hand and share them liberally–I want less and enjoy it more.

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