One of the kids asks, "What's the good thing about growing up?"
There is one.
It's a mixed blessing for sure, but the best part may be that you really have earned some of life's treats. You really are worth it, and you really do deserve it. For us, it's more than a marketing tool, it is truth, an axiom for the good life.
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Let's talk little luxuries. They're almost better than the big ones. Big satisfaction for small expenditure, and small guilt!
Face cream on your hands. Clean jersey-knit sheets. The scent of wood smoke on a fall day, even if you have to burn the old kitchen cabinets. Your kind of music, on a player that holds 2,000 songs, and never once reverb-ed a rapper.
Once you're 50-plus — if you can do it — really do it.
1. A chef-cooked meal at home once a month. (Yes, you can. Nearby, you have a culinary school or a technical school with a culinary arts program.)
2. The coolest-ever phone.
3. The comfiest-ever new mattress.
4. Real maple syrup. (It's more than $100 a gallon, but don't buy a gallon — all at once, at least.) Get the raw honey, while you're at it. Get the raw Hawaiian ginger honey, while you're at it.
5. Shoes that play footsie with your feetsies.
6. Coffee that you grind yourself. Better yet, coffee that someone grinds for you, and cleans up afterward.
7. Manicures every week. Even if you're a guy. Especially if you're a guy.
8. Fabulous teeth.
9. A catered Christmas. It IS OK. It IS still Christmas.
10. A catered Thanksgiving, Easter, Passover, Halloween, Arbor Day, Grandparents Day, Boxing Day …
11. Nice photos of the motorcycle, time-share, downhill skis, gourmet club, wine of the month, and formal wear you gave up for your kids.
12. The 9 o'clock movie, and not on Saturday morning.
13. A six-pack (of massage certificates).
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Jacquelyn Mitchard is the best-selling author of 21 books. Her latest, Second Nature: a Love Story, was published in September.