I think I previously brushed on this subject I’m about to discuss. If I did, please just note that I am a bit obsessed with the whole topic of being happier and sparking joy.
Now, I do not remember if I read about the following in The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin or The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. I read those 2 books back to back which is why I might have blurred where I read the story I’m about to recap.
So I read about someone who is mentioned in one of either book (highly recommend both, in my opinion, they go hand in hand). The person mentioned found some napkins that their grandmother had been saving for a special occasion or special day. The person found these items upon going through the grandmother’s possessions after her death. For some reason, I think a lot about this story because I find it extremely sad and too relatable. I too have a propensity to save “nice” things for a special day or in case something comes up, I can have something new to wear, use or whatever. The thing is that life is finite and things happen, there are highs and lows in life and stuff is stuff, meant for us to use, wear, etc. I know that when I read that story, I thought to myself that I would think I failed at life if ever I was the grandma in that story-buying and storing nice things for a special occasion and then having passed away not having used my nice things.
Please don’t confuse this with being materialistic. Honestly, now that I’ve been thinking about this so much, it’s more materialistic to not use your nice things than it is to use them. What you’re saying when you don’t use your nice China or napkins with your family or guests is that none of them are worthy of your nice things-so you’re valuing things over people, or even worse, you’re saying nothing special enough has happened in your life that is worthy of “that dress” or “those shoes” or “those plates”.
I’ve gotten a lot better about using my things, even though I am careful with my nieces and nephews who are all under 10 when I want to use my “fancy” plates and cups. That’s just because I do not want to break them. You see I have an obsession with teacups (that I use mostly for coffee), and then we have our beautiful wedding china that I simply love-it’s so beautiful. These things are not cheap and at first, I wanted to “save” them until we moved into our house, but then I read The Happiness Project and The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and it is as if my eyes were opened.
As of right now, I’ve 3 pieces of clothing I have yet to wear-one is a beautiful blue romper that I just have to wear before winter because it’s short-I got it about 3 weeks ago; the other is a dress I bought specifically for a wedding I am attending, so that will be worn soon and the third is another dress, more casual that I should also just wear, I haven’t but it’s not because I’m “saving” it, these days I live in leggings and t-shirts because, toddler.
The other day I bought super soft, nice quality sheets, I put them on our bed the minute I got home. Normally, I would have “saved” these, but my desire to not be like the napkin grandma is greater than my urge to “save” things for another time. I love those sheets, in fact, I got a second set as back up that we have now also used and love.
I promised myself I would use my wedding shoes more. They’re the iconic Carrie Bradshaw Manolo Blanik Hangisi shoes and after out wedding, I cleaned the soles, put them in their bag and box and away in my closet because hello, I don’t want them to get “messed up.” Since my born-again life after having read the 2 books I mention here, I have worn them again. Now, I don’t as often because again, toddler, but I think I am just going to wear them to court one of these days. Those shoes are too beautiful to keep them stored away.
Lastly, of all my teacups/coffee cups, my favorite are the one’s from Villeroy & Boch’s New Wave line*. These cups are so simple and yet they’re a work of art. Everyone, and I mean everyone, comments on them when I bring them out-which is all the time. Again, I had some of these prior to my Rubin/Kondo awakening and had been “saving” them- for what exactly, I don’t know. The joy they bring me, my friends and family, some people might find ridiculous, after all they’re cups. Just yesterday, my husband had some of his friends over for a poker game and I served coffee. They, all men, commented on how beautiful my cups were, one even said he’s never felt so special and asked if he was worthy of this “royal treatment”. Again, they’re just cups, beautiful ones, but I got an immense joy out of making our guests feel special and they felt it too. Had I been “saving” these, we all would’ve missed out on this simple way to add joy to our days.
Enjoy every moment and every thing. If you ever find yourself “saving” your nice things, remember napkin grandma, perhaps it’ll make you reconsider.
Have a blessed week!
*I have them in various sizes-teacup (low and wide), espresso (smallest), cappuccino (medium), cafe au lait (largest I own).
These are not my pictures, but this is our wedding china, Wedgwood Renaissance Gold: