Has anyone else received that many forwarded email with the story about the woman whose sister died of cancer, and when they were going through her belongings after her death they found nice things that she had been saving for a special occasion that had never gotten used? The message of the story is about making every day a special occasion and to use and enjoy your best stuff now. I have no idea if the actual story is true or just a parable someone made up to express this idea, but I really appreciate the sentiment.
And when I think about it, I am guilty of saving my “best” stuff for a nice occasion (which sometimes means never), and using stuff I am less crazy about on a daily basis. I think one of my lagom goals this year will be to work on this issue, and I feel like I’ve put some things in place over the last year that already have me moving in the right direction. As I continue to pare down various categories of things I own, I find myself getting down to just the things that are my favorites – though at this point in time, in most categories, I have to admit I have still kept one or two extra items that are just “okay” out of a scarcity mindset. The only thing that seems to be helping conquer that issue is time – as months go by and I notice that even with a significantly reduced stash I STILL won’t use a certain item, it becomes clear that it is serving no purpose in my life.
I am also noticing that in some cases the item self-selects it’s own demise, and I find myself disappointed and cursing myself that I didn’t use it sooner. That happened to me recently with a makeup sample I was really excited about. I had picked up a sample of a super expensive lip treatment at Sephora, and by a stroke of luck I think the employee who helped me was new and gave me a waaaay more generous sample than she was supposed to. The treatment came in a tiny little bottle that cost a fortune, and I was shocked to see her pump nearly half the bottle into one of their little sample holders for me. “I am going to make this last FOREVER,” I thought gleefully. And I did use it several times, but each time only a tiny amount, because it was “special” (and too expensive for me to go buy a whole new bottle when I finished the sample). But then the container then fell behind another bottle in the cabinet, and I forgot about it for a while, until I moved some stuff around and discovered it again last week. When I opened it up, I was dismayed to realize most of it had dried up and was unusable!
I looked through the rest of my makeup, and sure enough, a handful of other items had either dried up or smelled funny or looked somehow past their prime, and I ended up tossing them too – but thankfully most of my “best” makeup is still usable, provided I actually START USING IT. My whole “use what I’ve already got” commitment (combined with the huge amount of stuff I own) means I’m working my way through so many products, it’s inevitable that some of what I have is just going to run out of shelf life before I get to it.
I’m still committed to using what I’ve already got, but I’m making a slight shift to it – use the stuff I like best first, and then if I end up having to throw something away because it goes bad before I can get to it, at least it won’t be my best stuff.