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Renae Brumbaugh

I’m depressed. I mean, seriously depressed. You see, I recently had my first taste of genuine, pampered luxury. Our family went on a cruise, and it was five days and nights of pure bliss.

Let me elaborate. There were people who cleaned my room for me. Not once, but twice a day! Before bed each night, they left chocolates on my pillow and folded towels in the shapes of cute, cuddly animals. There were people who prepared my meals for me—anything I wanted—any time, night or day. Each evening, I dined in a fancy restaurant where a waiter placed my napkin in my lap for me and brought me gourmet food on a china plate.

I had a massage and a facial.

I danced with and kissed a dolphin.

I had my picture taken while seated next to a sea lion.

I sang karaoke to Shania Twain’s “Any Man of Mine.” Yes I did.
I laid in a hammock on the beach. I laid by the pool and read books.

And when I got tired, I went to my room and took a nap.

Then, and this is the depressing part, I had to go home.

The day after we returned, I did eight—yes, I counted, eight loads of laundry. I cleaned my kitchen and cooked and cleaned some more. And then, when I was nearly exhausted from all the work, I sat in my husband’s big comfy chair in the living room, staring off into the distance and wondering who would put my napkin in my lap and bring me gourmet food on a china plate.

I’m still waiting.

I wish I had some great and profound wisdom to impart about living in the real world, or about how life’s greatest moments come while serving others or how if given the choice, I’d choose the simple life, but no. That would be a lie. I like luxury. I like being pampered. And if given the choice between doing eight loads of laundry in a day or having someone cook and clean for me, I’d choose the luxury. Call me shallow if you want. At least I’m honest.

But since that’s not going to happen, since I do have to live in the real world, I’ve decided to bring a bit of luxury into my world. I’ve googled gourmet recipes. I’m learning to make towel animals. And most importantly, I’m learning the importance of having a bit of chocolate every day.

And really, none of those things are out of reach. True luxury lies in the little things, like fluffing a napkin into someone’s lap and placing a hamburger on a china plate. Those things bring smiles to the faces of people I love. And truly, those smiles are one of the greatest luxuries of my life. If I have the people I love around me, and can bring a little joy to their lives, I count myself blessed.

One of these days, I know I’ll be living in the lap of luxury in a city so brilliant, even the streets are made of gold. I’m looking forward to that day. But until then, I’m counting the days until my next cruise.

For more hope and humor, visit renaebrumbaugh.com

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