Wednesday, January 03, 2024

"enjoy what you have"

The exhortation to use, enjoy... use up stuff came from a friend when we were in grad school. It was prompted by her having to settle her dead aunt's effects and being saddened by the unused perfume, candles, clothes, etc. she kept finding. It's advice I've taken seriously. I mean we use "fancy" dishes all the time. It does mean that they get chipped (and that we try to make sure that one of us and not a guest gets the chipped plate), but it's still worth it.

If we can't or don't use something, I'd rather it goes to someone who might. But this part is more of an ongoing process. I find huge purges overwhelming, but this past year, I collected 5-10 items to give away (usually kitchen stuff, clothes, books, appliances) almost every day. I think we're almost at an optimal level of stuff now.  

And I guess "enjoy what you have" works for time and relationships too. Winter break has been lovely, but we're back to classes next week, and this week has been a lot of prep. (I'm actually on campus tomorrow for a four-hour workshop!) So in the spirit of enjoying what I have, I seized today, and made plans with LD for lunch and JL for tea.

Pic: Yesterday, I stopped to take this picture of a black squirrel in profile on the banks of the Red Cedar because of the almost archetypal "enjoy what you have" pose (inspiration for today's musings). Big A wasn't a fan of me breaking our sub-14 min/mile pace.


Sarah said...

This is a wonderful mindset, and mini-purges are a great idea. Much more approachable, and I think I could do this. We have way too much stuff at the moment.

Gillian said...

Good for you.

Nicole said...

Maya, are we the same person? Because I have been thinking about this a lot over the past year, the "use the good things" mentality. Part of it was after we moved, I thought, why don't I use the good china often? So I do. I wear jewelry every day and what are we saving the "nice" things for? Every day is a celebration, and I think you just gave me my next blog topic, so thank you! xoxoxo

Nance said...

Black squirrels are relatively rare here in my area, so I love seeing them!

I very much agree with this philosophy, and we say it about wine, too. We don't save certain wine for a special occasion. The wine makes the occasion! Using lovely or special things makes the day that much more lovely or special. And if I or my family aren't worth it, then who is?

StephLove said...

I like your slow-motion decluttering technique. I wonder if it would work for me because I get overwhelmed by the task every time I think about it.

NGS said...

I always use my nice products. Gorgeous candle! Burn it. That tiny bottle of delightful lotion that makes my skin look years younger that I got as a free sample, but can't afford because it's more expensive per ounce than gold? Use it. Those gorgeous shoes with the tiny heels that will be worn to the ground after one night of dancing. Wear them. You only live once and you can't take them with you when you go!

maya said...

Sarah--stuff does accumulate... I like your term "mini-purge" and yes--it helped me.


Nicole--I've wondered that too :)! You must feel so lovely and light in the new place with just the things that are most prized and important!

Nance--This is the first place I've seen black squirrels in profusion; I've heard it was something the university did intentionally. I love your wine philosophy and hope I remember it.

Steph--"slow-motion decluttering"--I love this description. Also, I meant to email you about this, but I've started double shelving books (I think you'd mentioned running out of shelves). A hates it, but I think it keeps them accessible.

Engie--Absolutely love this!

last day/first day

And that's a wrap on classes until August. There are exams and meetings next week and task forces that will meet through the summer and ...