Treat yourself! Why you shouldn't save stuff just for special occasions…

coffee cups build a life

Are you someone who saves things for later or special occasions?

My Mum has three dinner services. One was a wedding present, one she built up a piece at a time over a number of years and the third belonged to my Grandmother. Does she use them? Very rarely.

When I was growing up they were used with great ceremony at Christmas and Sunday tea when the “relations” came. Nowadays they spend most of their time in a china cabinet. The every day plates are a mishmash of indestructible cornishware and willow pattern. I suggested to my Mum that she used one of the sets but she told me that they were only for special occasions.

I inherited this thought pattern. I once had a bottle of Chanel No.5 shower gel which I only used when I was going out. With three small children, that wasn’t very often and it went off before I could use all of it. It was such a shame.

My daughter Faith definitely didn’t inherit this pattern. At the end of a day out, I would allow my three children to choose something from the gift shop. Faith loved making things so she would usually choose a craft kit of some kind. I had trained Holly and Patrick to “save” kits until we had time to “do them properly”. Somehow, Faith had escaped that conditioning.

By the time tea was ready she would have ripped the packet open and completed the activity, in her bedroom, on the carpet, with of course, no newspaper! There would be glue and glitter everywhere and she would triumphantly bring the results to the table with her.

Faith also wore whatever she wanted, whenever she wanted. From the age of 18 months she dressed herself and although the combinations were often unconventional, somehow they worked. Who knew that a green tutu could be worn with spotty tights, red wellies and an Action Man helmet!

This February we decided to reclaim romance. For us, this is very much about falling back in love with daily life. We are looking for moments where we can enhance our day to day experience. A few years ago, Holly returned from a month in Italy and pulled the old coffee maker out from the back of the cupboard. Unable to bear our normal coffee after a month of delicious Italian cappuccinos, she blew off the dust and put it to work.

Then she persuaded me to use the coffee cups I had been given as a wedding present to drink our morning coffee from. They are china with delicate butterflies and flowers around the rim. I love them but had never really used them. Suddenly my first cup of coffee of the day became more of a ritual. It takes a little longer to make but it’s worth it.

So this February, I am going to trawl through my cupboards and drawers and see what other treasures I am saving for later. It’s time to light those candles, spritz that perfume, use that bath oil, wear that scarf and bring some sparkle into each day.

Your challenge, should you accept it, is to find one thing that you already had that you could use now to make a moment of your current life special.

Happy hunting!

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selfcareTracy SmithComment