About three years ago, my friend Carolyn gave me a gift. It was a beautiful teal journal, with cream-colored pages and a little tab that slides into a loop to fasten it shut. This beautiful gift was special, pretty, clean and much too wonderful to write just any old thing in it. As a result, I carried it around in my schoolbag for awhile, then tucked it away into a safe drawer where nothing would blemish it until I thought of something brilliant that I could write in it. What a thoughtful gift that was carefully and thoughtfully selected – just for me. I didn’t want to waste it.
This beautiful gift was special, pretty, clean and much too wonderful to write just any old thing in it.
Well, three years went by and I rediscovered it, safely tucked away and unblemished, unused in a drawer. It was still lovely, but hadn’t served its intended purpose because it was sequestered away, simply “too good” to use just yet. Around this time, I had arrived at the idea of starting a serious blog and decided that the Unblemished Journal would be a great place for me to jot down notes about ideas for blog entries and other things related to the process.
In the process of jotting down ideas in the journal, one of the ideas that came to me was that of not being so quick to save things for special occasions. How often we “save” things because they are just too nice, too good or too special to use in the everyday moments of life. What a shame. What if the special occasion never comes or the item just gets forgotten in the back of a closet or drawer, never realizing the potential for which it was created?
This goes for things like good silverware or the milk glass luncheon set my grandmother gave me. It even goes for the sparkly shoes I bought for a wedding long ago and have barely worn. Then there’s the satin evening bag I bought on a family vacation and the opal bracelet my husband gave me on my birthday more than a decade ago.
The time to enjoy what we have is now. Use the nice dishes! It would be better for one to chip or break and have enjoyed it than to squirrel the set away in a padded zippered case, high upon a cupboard shelf, far away from any perils that might threaten down at the level of everyday life. We are so silly sometimes. Life is happening now and the special occasion is today.
Life is happening now and the special occasion is today.
When my friend Andrea comes by for tea once or twice a year, I like to put the old-fashioned dishes and silver out for us to enjoy while we nosh on cookies and sip tea, catching up on the days that have passed since our last visit. Even (GASP!) my children use them. Because they use them, they get the chance to build memories around them just as I did when I ate from them at my grandmother’s house as a child. Now I get to use them, remembering her fondly as I do.
That journal from my friend is slowly being scribbled with ideas and dreams, more being added as I continue to imagine what I might like to write about. I look forward to it eventually being filled and worn so that I can look back at it and marvel at how it has fulfilled its purpose.
And so it is with us. We shouldn’t wait to lay hold of dreams, learn new things, wear sparkly shoes or use the family silverware. These things have a purpose and we should not hinder them from being made useful because of some invented notion that a “special occasion” or later time and place would be more appropriate.
Go snoop around in your heart and closets and see what you’ve been saving without using. I am sure you will find something delightfully beautiful.