Tuesday, June 7, 2011

ON FAMILY ~ Daily Treasures...


At the age of 45, writer Regina Brett wrote a column for the Cleveland Plain Dealer listing 45 lessons that life had taught her thus far. As a breast cancer survivor, many of those lessons were learned the hard way. Five years later she added five more lessons rounding her list up to 50 and turned her popular list into a book called God Never Blinks. I found her list to be entertaining, inspiring and thought provoking. I thought I would go through each of her lessons learned and write about how that lesson has or has not come up in my own life, now that I am 40 and feel old enough to have finally learned something.

"Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save anything for a special occasion. Today is special enough."
~ LESSON #21

I don't really understand the point of buying fancy things if you aren't going to use them. This is the reason I didn't register for china when we were getting married. First of all, we lived in a tiny apartment with only two cabinets so there wasn't exactly room to store or display it. Second, my husband's nickname is Bumble - and we've all heard the adage of the bull in the china shop. Third, it seemed strange to hoard dishes for special occasions. Didn't it make more sense to ask people to give us nice things we would and could actually use every day?

I guess I'm not really a fancy gal. I don't own a gazillion shoes or dresses to die for. I wear the same stuff in a pretty standard rotation that is probably pretty boring but it is a nice enough wardrobe that makes me feel good about myself when I wear it.

I do like pretty things around the house though. I enjoy lovely framed photos and art, well coordinated rugs and nicely styled furniture with character. Decorating rooms is something I consider fun to do and believe that those snazzy vases or collectibles should be out in the open to be appreciated every day - not tucked away as if you lived in a museum. Of course, having big dogs or little children traipsing around can make that goal adjustable, but perching pretty things out of harms way is always an option.

I don't have a lot of bling either. But if I did, I think that I'd wear it all the time rather than keeping it in a jewelry box. I do have two pins that I retrieved from my grandmother's costume jewelry box after she died. One of them is a big, blue glittery looking flower that I keep propped up on my dresser to look at every morning when I get dressed. I always wonder where I could wear a gaudy, bedazzled pin like that. What kind of outfit would that go with in my boring wardrobe? Perhaps a wedding or some other event requiring me to put on an actual dress.

But if I lived each day as a special one, I would stick that pin on my t-shirt on the weekends, on my blouse at the office, on my coat in the winter. I would attach it to my purse if it truly didn't match the outfit du jour. Because it is a special pin to me, and it deserves to be displayed. Not hidden at home. My grandmother was a special lady who didn't wait for a special day to enjoy the finer things in her life. I think wearing her pin every day would be a good testament to her spirit.

18 comments:

Lin said...

You know what? That pin would be adorable on a jean jacket. It would be a cute contrast to the casualness of the jean material. Go ahead...pin that mutha on and ENJOY!

I use my nice dishes and glasses. I never, ever eat on a paper plate. Life is too short not to use the nice stuff!

stacybuckeye said...

I love that you look at your grandmother's flower every morning!
We didn't sign up for china either, but acquired a set over the years that I love. I have bought some expensive stuff for the kitchen and use it all the time. I do tend to be pretty careful with it though! As for clothes...still can't fit into pre-baby clothes so everything I buy is comfy :( This is the saddest part of having a baby. My poor body. What were we talking about again? Is this therapy?

Matty said...

It doesn't matter what other people think. If you want to wear her jewelry when it doesn't match, so what. The fact that it has special meaning to you is what matters, and it might even lead to a few conversations that might otherwise never have taken place.

Mary and I are pretty common folk, so we don't have any glitzy and glamorous possessions that we hide away.

Forgetfulone said...

Beautiful pin! You should wear it every chance you get.

Ms.Wasteland said...

Much to my MIL's chagrin I didn't register for china (or anything else) when we got married. I haven't regretted it one bit.

I love that pin and the fact that it reminds you of your grandmother. I have a necklace that was my grandmother's and I wear it almost every day.

A Daft Scots Lass said...

It would look grand pinned to a beautiful silk or cashmere scarf or even your beanie in winter.

I love the coat lapel idea too. Wear it. Enjoy it. You never know what tomorrow holds.

Fire Fox said...

Thank you for the inspiration! I just took a look through some stuff I had in my jewelry box, discovered some items that should be either worn or displayed. Thanks!

Tami said...

Good for you for learning this lesson at 40! It took me a little longer, but I'm now a firm believer in having "less, but nicer". I'm a dish freak, so I see no point in having cheap-o "every day" dishes and saving the good stuff. Use what you have and enjoy it - even if it doesn't match your outfit. ;)

Jenny Girl said...

I am just like you. I don't need tons of fancy shoes, clothes, and jewelry. I'm pretty low maintenance and not that flashy. (I am a knitter.) But A few years ago, my hubby had said what's the sense of saving my good coat for special occasions? If you like wear it! We'll get another one when you need it. And he is so right! You can't take it with you.

I would wear your grandmom's pins any day of the week. White blouse and navy pants would work, skirt. It will jazz you up and make you feel special, like a cute blouse or something.

Izzybella said...

This! So true. And Lin is right. It would look cute on a denim jacket. Faith always wears our grandmother's pins on her winter coats. Looks fantastic with her peacoat. Too adorable.

Mama Zen said...

Definitely wear it every day!

Unknown Mami said...

I think the pin would look great on a denim jacket as well as on a purse or bag. I also think it's wonderful that you keep it out so that you can see it every day. You might not use it every day, but at least it is not hidden away. Every day really is special and should be treated as such.

kaye said...

that is such an important thing to learn. I had a friend that brought her grandmother's china to an etiquette dinner we were having for young girls 8-12. I asked her how she dared. She said she used it every Sunday because using it reminded her kids of her grandmother and even if it all got broken they would always remember grandma's china. I use my grandma's lemon juicer all the time.

vanita said...

ha! my soul sistah! LOL. I'm also not a fancy person. my mom has bugged me for years to buy some good china and buy a china cabinet to display it in. i complain about the cabinet taking up space to store stuff i won't use. Hello? 4 kids, no expensive collectibles allowed, well at least not until my 18 month old is in high school. :-D I also have 1 pair of each: boots, sneakers, shoes and sandals. that's it. fancy dresses? one black wrap dress. if i have a last minute wedding to go to (haha) well I'm out of luck. not to mention, i hate clothes shopping for me. too long and grueling. found you via Matty's Thoughts and so glad I did.

jehara said...

I love using nice dishes every day. It makes serving dinner more fun. I have fun dishes and classy casual dishes and sophisticated (to me) dishes but they all definitely get used.

I am really bad though at hoarding my 'special' ingredients. I'll buy something like brown rice syrup or ricemellow fluff for a specific recipe but then I want to hold off and keep those ingredients around for a while before I use them. Probably so I don't have to buy them again for a while. That is weird, I know. Another quirk I suppose. ;)

Gwen@ChewDigestBooks.com said...

Darling, jewelry goes with everything!

I have tons of beautiful clip on earring from my grandmother that I placed around the rim of a lampshade in my bedroom. They add bling and I can't look at it without thinking of her.

We use our china every day, for a crazy reason. Right after we moved, the stove blew up along with the boxes that had our every day dishes in them. I just haven't bought any new ones yet:)

I say use it or lose it, life is too short to hide the beautiful things in life.

Ron said...

Beautiful pin!

I love vintage jewelry. Not just because of craftmanship that went into them, but more so because of their sentiment.

I'm like you, I'm very basic and non-fancy. Both my wardrobe and home are simple and clean. And like you, I live in a small space, therefore I don't like clutter.

"My grandmother was a special lady who didn't wait for a special day to enjoy the finer things in her life."

Your grandmother sounded like a very wise lady. I tell my mother that too - don't wait for a special day to enjoy wearing your favorite perfume - everyday is special!

Anonymous said...

My husband's grandmother left him a set of three-hooped gold earrings that he was supposed to give his wife. (She passed before we met.) The earrings were beautiful and went with everything, day or night, and I wore them frequently. When I lost one while walking the dog, the dog and I retraced our path several times before giving up and I had to tell my husband. I felt so bad but, when I told him, he said, "What a shame, those earring went with everything." He knew I loved them and he preferred that I lost one rather than letting them collect dust in the jewelery box.