Life is Short, Start Using the Good Stuff

Written by on January 15, 2018 in Self-Care

Start Using the Good Stuff~

I’m not a collector by nature so when preparing to make the move from Hawaii to Oregon last year I was more than a little surprised at the vast assortment of good stuff that I had stored away over the years for special occasions.

My walk down memory lane included leather bound journals, antique china cups, crystal, long forgotten jewelry and articles of clothing carefully preserved in safe places.

Then there were the luxury soaps and scented candles along with a half bottle of my favorite perfume attractively displayed and gathering dust on various shelves.

As I began sorting through these keepsakes I couldn’t help but ask myself, what have I been saving all this stuff for?

Burn the candles; Use the nice sheets; wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Every day you are alive is a special occasion.
~Author Unknown

It’s Time to Start Using the Good Stuff

Last week I read a story that reminded me of that bittersweet exercise of having to decide what to let go of and what to haul across a few thousand miles of land and sea.

In the article, the author referred to her family’s habit of saving the good stuff for some unknown special occasion as “Waiting for the Pope”.

Substitute whatever celebrity you choose, but I think that’s a great analogy and I have adopted it to remind myself to start using the good stuff.

I’ll bet I’m not the only one who knows people who have entire rooms in their home that are never used, or who has had a relative who used plastic coverings on their chairs and couches to save them from actual use.

A good friend of mine spends her spare time painting landscapes so a couple of years ago I gave her a whole set of new paints to celebrate a birthday milestone.

She recently confessed to me that she’d kept the paints stored away so she could use them to create something really special, but they eventually dried up from lack of use and had to be tossed out.

It’s sad to think of how many potential memories are lost through the years because we’re waiting … for what?

The thing about life is it is fragile, precious and unpredictable and each day is a gift, not a given right. Holly Butcher, Note Before I Die (Holly died of cancer at age 27)

Is it Worth It?

It is true – sometimes the good stuff is fragile so there’s always a bit of a risk when you use it, it does take a little extra effort to use the china rather than the sturdy dishes you can just toss in the dishwasher, and wearing the pretty blouse you had stored away means it won’t have that crisp look new anymore.

Challenging you to use the good stuff, to make extra effort to create more special moments in life, assumes that you believe it’s worth the effort; that YOU are worth the effort.

So, here’s my two cents.

I say life is short, it’s time to stop Waiting for the Pope, break out the good china for pizza night, pull out that pretty journal you tucked away until you have something impressive to say and write away.

Use the fancy sheets and towels, light the scented candles go wild with the bubble bath and spritz on your favorite perfume just because it makes you feel pretty.

Instead of carefully preserving family heirlooms, create new memories around these treasured pieces with your own family.

Always keep a bottle of Champagne in the fridge for special occasions. Sometimes the special occasion is that you’ve got a bottle of champagne in the fridge!
~Hester Browne

Closing Thoughts

Ultimately life is made up of moments. You can sit back and wait for them to happen, or you can choose to create more moments of your own.

Don’t wait for a special occasion that may or may not ever happen to use the good stuff. Just being alive makes today special!

Will you be the passenger or the driver in your life journey?
About Marquita A. Herald

Marquita Herald

Marquita is an author, resilience coach and the chief evangelist at Emotionally Resilient Living. She’s also an unapologetic workaholic who loves red wine, rock n’ roll, road trips (and car dancing!), peanut butter cookies and (especially) a dog named Lucy.

She’s saddened and frustrated by excuses and cruelty and believes authentic compassion is the most powerful force in the world.

To learn more about Marquita and the mission of Emotionally Resilient Living Start Here.

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17 Reader Comments

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  1. Elise Ho says:

    Yes, use the good stuff. There is no time like the present. Seriously, if we wait to use the good stuff until the “right time” we allow all of the good times to just pass us by.
    Elise Ho recently posted…Blogger Pit Stop #107My Profile

  2. Another wonderful post that will particularly inspire me when I start spring cleaning later this year. I have moved so many times in my life (let’s compare!), that I long ago began to weed things out and use things. But I know I am still guilty of tucking items away.

    I wish my mom were alive so I could share this with her. Once, I bought her and dad handmade coffee mugs. Upon my next visit, they were in the china cupboard. Yes, I had a fit and asked what she was saving them for. Answer: special occasions and so she could give them back to me when they died. I told her that if they didn’t use them, when they died, I would break them to pieces.
    Mom sometimes needed drastic prompting! They used them every time I visited. In between, who knows?

    In her honor, we have one of her handmade quilts on the bed. It is falling apart, but the beautiful yellow flowers make me think of her daily. So save it? No way!

  3. Waiting for the Pope…what a gr!eat label!

    I’ve also been guilty of finally getting rid of ‘things too special for use’ that eventually became clutter.

    No matter its length, life is short, live like today is our last…

  4. Taiwo says:

    Hi Marquita,

    I love your post. Keeping things for a special occasion is what we all do, but little do we know that those occasions may never come. Like you pointed out, life is fragile and very unpredictable. Every day is an opportunity to live life fully. I fully agree with you that there is no sense in keeping things for a special occasion when we actually need them now.

  5. Hey Marquita,

    I guess that is how we all are, we keep the good things for later – and eventually they become a waste!

    Even after reading this article, I still can’t get myself to use some of the things that I have stored away for an unknown right time, perhaps because it has become a mental block … but atleast now that am checking into it, makes me think that there’s way too many things that are just gathering dust. Hopefully some of those will have a better use now!

    – Shantanu
    Shantanu Sinha recently posted…18 Things You Can Do Better for Business in 2018My Profile

  6. What a great story Monika! I’m just glad you and your husband are still married so you could enjoy the bubbly together. 🙂

  7. Ha Marquita! Your post rang a few bells and made me laugh. When we got married (14 years ago this September), my husband and I were given a bottle of very special vintage champagne. We’d been saving it for the right moment: we had two boys and moved house twice in that time, but still hadn’t got round to drinking it. Either we were tired, didn’t have “the right” person/people to share it with or (the shame) had forgotten about it. This year we put it in our fridge and told the friend who’d given it us that we were “thinking” about drinking it. She responded that we were about a decade too late – it peaked after about 5-7 years! Ah well. So it was now or never, regardless of whether we had anyone to drink it with or not. So we drank it and it was delicious! Live for the moment, who knows when it’s the right time!

  8. Lenie says:

    “you can choose to create more moments of your own”
    That’s going to be my mantra this year – love it.
    We do so often wait for ‘that moment’ that never comes, so thanks for the reminder to start using the good stuff.
    The next time I “create a moment” by lighting that lavender scented candle and having a glass of wine in my best wine glass, I’ll first drink a toast to you.
    BTW – I loved the image at the beginning – pinned it simply because it’s lovely.
    Lenie recently posted…Baby Boomer Flashbacks…Do You Remember?My Profile

  9. Glad you enjoyed it Grace. 🙂

  10. Good for you Doreen! I think it would do everyone good to celebrate life more. 🙂

  11. Oh yeah, can I relate to the dog hair! My Lucy is a little blond so her hair shoes up on EVERYTHING. But if that’s the price I have to pay to have her in my life, it’s worth it! Good for you for breaking the “Waiting for the Pope” habit. 🙂

  12. Thanks Mark, and I think you are right about this being an issue most people can relate to, which is why it helps to have a little reminder once in awhile about how short life is.

  13. Grace says:

    Beautiful. Thank you for the reminder to use the good stuff!

  14. Hey, Marty! I ALWAYS use the good stuff! I learned a long time ago, that we never know when our time is up. I refuse to save for a rainy day, or save things for “special” occasions. To me, EVERY day that I feel good and have positive vibrations in my life is a special day. 🙂
    Doreen Pendgracs recently posted…Belize travel offers great adventure in, on, and under the waterMy Profile

  15. Hi Marquita,

    I used to “Wait for the Pope” a long time ago. Special sheets, guest towels, and clothes to go out to dinner with. But I realized that I was never using them. I had to clean the fine china and stemware once a year because I wasn’t using it. What a waste!
    So I broke out the china and used it for every day dishes. I use my crystal stemware even for juice lol.
    As for clothing. I have two dogs and wear the “good stuff” around the house proudly displaying dog hair he he he.

    What a great topic!

    Donna Merrill recently posted…Critical Blogging Decisions You Need To Make in 2018My Profile

  16. Mark says:

    Thanks for sharing some incredibly practical advice M!

    And I’d go as far to state, I’ll bet, anywhere from 90-98% of your readership, can definitely relate to your well articulated message.

    On some level or another. Sadly, it’s an all too common theme, which creeps into, practically every area in and throughout our entire lives.

    Thank you so much, for helping us recognize, it simply doesn’t have to be this way!
    Mark recently posted…How To Use Free Lead Magnets For Successful Referral Marketing Purposes!My Profile

  17. Phoenicia says:

    Wonderful Marquita!

    I think saving things becomes ingrained in us via our culture and upbringing. As a child I recall my grandmother had plastic coverings on her sofas, good china, towels and bed sheets neatly folded. None of it used but safely stored in a big chest in her bedroom. We found these when she passed away and we were sorting through her items. I could cry just thinking about it as she lived so frugally. What on earth was she saving them for? Why should your supposed guests use pristine towels while you use old ones? Why should they lay on beautiful bed sheets when you continue to use your bog standard ones? Were they for show?

    I was born into a Jamaican family with a strong culture. They were proud and always showed up well whatever little they had. You always had a coat, dress and shoes for “best”. Sometimes the best never came and you outgrew them. Now I still section my clothes in terms of work, special occasions, weekend and lounging. I have coats only for best – well one actually. I have shoes and dresses for occasions.

    Today I wear bright red lipstick to work because it makes me feel pretty and confident. Years ago I would have saved lipstick for evenings out and the colour would have been toned down so it did not stand out.

    Live for today -put your best foot forward today!
    Phoenicia recently posted…When life takes a ‘u’ turn!My Profile