When something is scarce, we value it more.
Our water was shut off the other day so a leak could be fixed in front of our desert home. Fortunately, Mr. Ms. Liz saw the plumbers coming and filled a bucket with water. I can wash my hands in about 4 ounces of water when water is scarce. When water isn’t scarce, it takes at least four times that much.
I love sweets–chocolate, sour sugary, chewy caramel–all of them. My Mom was a dental hygienist and didn’t want sugar on our teeth so there were no sweets in my home; even the table sugar was hidden. This turned me into a great sweet sleuth (with only one cavity) but also made me enjoy every morsel of any sweet. Each year, my brother and I were given the Russell Stover four pack chocolates in our Christmas stockings. I remember stretching those four chocolates out over the day, paying close attention to each bite and each flavor. Last night I ate four blueberry/dark chocolate squares almost without a thought.
Do you remember the first time you went to a fancy coffee shop and got a fancy coffee? How did you feel when you sat down to enjoy that first sip? Did you feel accomplished? Did it feel like a huge treat? I used to drive for miles to go to my favorite coffee shop, it was worth it. Meeting a friend for a Café mocha in a real cup mmm . . . Grabbing a latte in a paper cup and racing out the door–not so much.
We’ve cheated ourselves by turning something that was special into something that is ordinary.
We often focus on what we have to give up in order to achieve our financial goals. But are we really giving things up? Or are we maximizing our enjoyment by making something we enjoy more special?
What ordinary things or experiences used to be treats for you? Can you turn one back into a treat?