Many of the lessons I learned as a little girl I try to remember. Others, I need to forget.
One I'm trying to forget is the idea of saving things "for good."
My family wasn't rich, but we had a few nice things. Those nice things weren't for everyday life, though. We always had to take off our good clothes so they wouldn't get dirty and remove our good shoes so they wouldn't get scuffed. We weren't supposed to walk on the good rug, and we almost never used the good china.
We used the word good a lot, I remember. The good stuff was there to be admired, but not to be enjoyed. Is that the way it was in your house?
I learned very well the lesson of saving things for good. Because of that, I have good perfume that's dried up in the bottle. I have good sweaters that have been eaten by moths. I have good scarves that have languished in the drawer. I own those good things, but they haven't done me any good.
So I'm done with that. I'm not saving things for good any more.
Here's a little example. You see the china cabinet in the photo above? That cabinet was full of pretty objects that never got used. Frankly, getting things out of their special places in the cabinet was more trouble than it was worth. So there they sat, only for show.
Then one day I decided to take the hutch off the cabinet. Of course, that meant I would be sacrificing display space.
Turns out that losing display space was the right move. Now the dishes form a sort of china-leaning-tower-of-Pisa, but it's so easy to grab them.
And the crystal glasses? They stand in orderly rows, soldiers ready to be called into service.
Of course it's risky, this business of using things that I once saved for good. Breakables can get broken. Valuables can get lost or stolen. But the richness and pleasure that using these lovely things brings to my life is worth the risk.
Instead of saving things "for good," I'm actually using them for good. All in all, that's a good trade, don't you think?
This post is the ninth entry in a 31-day series: Caring for Myself Body and Soul.