Easy and Elegant Life

The Search for Everyday Elegance and the Art of Living Well.

What Did You Notice Today?

(Photo by Fuji Moto via Japan Today and used without permission. Please let me know if I should take it down.)

Forgive the lateness of this post. I had a great title for it, but by the time I got to the computer… well, this one will have to do. (I think it was “Take the Wrong Way Home.”)

“Unseasonably warm,” that’s what they’re calling our weather today. We’re supposed to top out around 75ºF. Which made it an ideal morning for a run.

Normally I am loaded down with keys, a phone, watch, identification, very occasionally an iPod. I sound like Santa’s sleigh coming down the sidewalk. Or a steam locomotive .. all clanks and wheezes. Today, it must have been my anxiousness to get out into the unseasonable warmth, I forgot all but my keys and phone.

Those who are regular readers of Easy and Elegant Life know that I am a proponent of leading life at a more leisurely pace.

I do have appointments and a few loose deadlines (pick up my daughter, drop off my son, gather up the dog, make appointments to have headlamp changed in the car, drop drycleaning, get new microwave, post, that sort of thing), but on the whole I am without a schedule. So forgetting the watch and not timing my run didn’t worry me too much. It turned out to be a complete delight (and I do not really enjoy running.) I ran into The Architect leaving for work, and my tailor Larry Wood of Leviner-Wood arriving at his atelier. I made it a little over six miles and had enough left over to knock out 20 pullups. Must be the unseasonable warmth.

All of which is neither here nor there, but it does bring me to the easy and elegant tip of the day. Vary your routine for maximum enjoyment.

Too often, I get caught up in the minutia and forget what this experiment is all about. I imagine that you have the same sort of whirlwind swirling through your daily life. So what can you do about it? Here are a few ideas.

If you are lucky enough to have the kind of weather we are experiencing today, eat at your desk.

What, you say? Absolutely, eat at your desk while you clear the decks of enough to get out for your “lunch hour” and go for a walk. While you’re at it, can you spare a moment for a quick trim and a shine?

Did I get to you too late? Or is your weather still abominable? Take the wrong way home. If you’re driving, pop a CD of music that you enjoyed as a teenager into the player and take a different route home. Riding mass transit? Get off a stop early and hike a block or two — pipe the music through your iPod or phone.

Need something more permanent, a reminder of how far you’ve come in your quest to live a bit more elegantly?

Go shopping. Even in this economy. Valentine’s Day is coming up, choose a token of your affection with care. Giving is always better than receiving.

While you’re out, buy yourself something small and new (at least to you) to remind you of your commitment to the easy and elegant life. Ideally, it will be something that you use everyday and that makes you feel very elegant when you wear or use it.

It may be something as simple as an antique signet ring, a new pocket square, an antique fountain pen, or new cufflinks. If you are in the habit of checking your watch constantly, buy a new one. Choose a very simple white face with Roman numerals or Arabic numbers in a good font, silver or gold case with a black or brown crocodile (print) band. A bit too extravagant in today’s climate? Just change your watch strap (pigskin, or peccary? Lizard or crocodile?) so that every time you look at it, you are reminded to slow down and enjoy those beautiful things with which you are surrounded. I do find that sterling silver or gold, exotic skins or pressed linen make me feel like a swell.

Finally, turn in early. Read for at least half an hour and get at least eight hours sleep tonight. Don’t forget your new totem when you dress tomorrow morning. Elegance is a mindset.

4 thoughts on “What Did You Notice Today?

  1. Last week, I arrived 2 hours early at an appointment and found myself with a gift to me, time for me to leisurely spend it with myself. I must admit, that me, myself and I had an elegant time. I gave myself permission to shop and to not feel one ounce of guilt.

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