The Case for Being Discerning

Yacht Chic

“Elegance is innate. It has nothing to do with being well dressed. Elegance is refusal.”

Diana Vreeland

Lately I find that I enjoy the company of discerning men and women more and more. The quiet self-confidence they exude, the gentle warmth they display, the relaxed and effortless way they carry themselves and the sense of laid back elegance they live by, all just seem to put me at ease. There is no competing for attention, no need to impress, no trying to hijack or run a conversation and not a trace of one-upmanship in sight. There are just lovely and lively exchanges, quality friendships, wonderful experiences, comfortable surroundings and a genuine appreciation for the value of a life that is built on quality, rather than one that is merely based on quantity.

However, that was not always the case. Although I’ve always been an admirer of urbane men and women, classically beautiful clothing and lovely homes, I also had a taste for overachievement, overconsumption and for just plain overdoing. At that time, I thought that being discerning was a certain type of snobbery, one that would make my life boring and would have me missing out on all that the world had to offer. I now understand that it’s just a different life philosophy; one that’s based on finding the things that fit, rather than trying to make everything fit, and that while living fast may be exciting and exhilarating, it can also be exhausting and, at times, very, very inelegant.

Still, it took me a long time to understand that I was actually holding myself back from the life, relationships and career I dreamt of because I was trying too hard to do and have too much, and to please far too many people. That, although counterintuitive, being more discerning would bring me more success, more lovely surroundings, fewer complications and more happiness than any amount of chasing (or even achieving) ever could.

So, that is why I’m now a very proud proponent of discernment, and of being discerning in all things. Because in having the courage to refuse to compromise on the company and the clothes that I keep, or in how I spend my money or my time, or in letting go of whatever simply no longer fits, I find a more and more beautiful life waiting for me, wherever I may go and whatever else I might choose to do.


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12 thoughts on “The Case for Being Discerning”

  1. I agree. Very well said. I really enjoy your blog, by the way. I look forward to new posts.

  2. This is such a beautifully articulated post. I could not agree with you more. I find with age comes a beautiful gift of wisdom. It sounds as if you have gained wisdom throughout your journey. Thank you for sharing it with us in blogland,

    1. Dear Kathysue,

      Thank you very much for the kind words, and for taking the time to comment. It has been a journey, but a very, very lovely one, and it sounds as if yours has been the same…very fortunate girls.

      Warm regards,

  3. So beautifully expressed DeeAnne. I also reached the point where I wanted a life that “fits” who I am now. It’s taken time to learn what I need and also what I don’t, but I’m getting there. I also moved to a beautiful island with a gentler pace of life. I thought I might miss the ” rush” of my previous corporate life, but I don’t. I just don’t seem to need it anymore.

    1. It does take time to really come to know oneself, doesn’t it? I’ve found the same to be true, but also that it’s made such a difference in the quality of my life, having made the effort to be more authentically myself.

      I, like you, moved to a beautiful island with a gentler pace of life, and thought that it might be a step too far, but I very much relate to your “not needing” certain things anymore. I just used those exact words to my godmother, when describing several former parts of my life that have just fallen away somehow and made room for other, much lovelier habits and pursuits.

      Thank you for your thoughtful words, and for staying in touch!
      DeeAnne x

      1. It’s so lovely that you reply to our comments, DeeAnne. It’s one of the things that make your blog so personal and special. It feels like we are really talking to one another – I guess we are! I don’t know how you find the time to do it but it is very much appreciated.
        Greetings from my island in the sun.

        1. Dear Pauline,

          The pleasure is all mine, I can assure you! I very much appreciate the comments, and I learn so much from each and every one…I always find so much food for thought, and inspiration for future posts that it’s almost as if it’s “our” blog.

          Love from chilly England,

  4. Hello DeeAnne!
    I miss you! What a beautiful post to read on Jan 15 my birthday. Thank you for reminding my why I love life. You always have a special place in my heart more than you know. Thanks for the abundance you give to this world!

    Steph Ryter (Garcia)

    1. Dear Steph,

      How lovely to hear from you, and happiest of birthdays! Thank you for the kind words, and I miss you all, as well. I couldn’t have asked for more perfect colleagues, or for a better way to spend my working days. A very, very special place, indeed!

      Has the new baby arrived yet?

      My best,

  5. Yes DeeAnne! My son was born in November and is 2 months this week! He’s been such a joy to have in our lives! What a gift he really is to us all! Smiling a lot and laughing too. I’m very blessed to live this life! 6 months of maternity too. Lucky me to have all this time to see him grow!

    Check out my FB for pictures!

    Miss your warm hearted kind voice,


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