When I was growing up, my mother used to do something that I didn’t readily understand as a young child. She used to have company, or show, towels. Now, many of you know what I’m talking about. Those towels that you were never supposed to use and were for guests only. They were always clean and neatly pressed, and sometimes had frilly flowers or some other type of design that was uncomfortable on those occasions when you did try and dry your hands on them. Don’t get me wrong; I don’t mind that mom did that. It showed that she cared about how her home looked when others came to visit. After all, there’s nothing wrong with having pride in your home and family.
The thing is, I did it myself when I first moved out of the house and into my very first apartment. I don’t say this as good or bad; just that I, too, wanted to put off a clean vibe for my guests, only mine had Mallard ducks on them. To this day, I have certain shirts that I really like. The problem is, I don’t wear them often because I don’t wish to wear out the fabric in the wash. Okay, I know that may sound odd, but I’m sure if you think hard enough, you’ll find you probably have something special that you don’t use as often because you want to keep it looking new. No… just me? Okay, I’ll own it.
The good news is that as I grow older, I’ve begun to realize just how fast life passes by. I’ve learned that it isn’t worth not taking advantage of those things like your nice China (Ahh! See, I knew there was something you were saving for a special occasion.) Life throws enough crap our way over our lifetime; it’s only right that we appreciate those things that bring us joy while we can, and they’re not dry-rotted from lack of wear.
I think that’s what impresses me most about something I read. It referenced how Millennials are more into the experiences of life than into accumulating material possessions. I’m not sure how long this lasts, or whether it’s just a life stage thing for them. Regardless, I like that they’re in the moment knowing there will be time to collect things as they go along; they don’t have to have everything all at once. And the experiences they’re having and the memories they’re making are often way more emotionally and sentimentally valuable than actual material things anyway.
It’s a fine line we walk between being careful with our things and enjoying them to the fullest. With our lives as they are today, however, haven’t we all learned the value of enjoying those good things in life while we can? Sheltering in place helped make us aware of just how much fun shopping can be (I say this as a man who’s not a big fan of shopping), going out to eat and seeing a movie in the actual theater, or enjoying a sporting event with our friends. It’s time we got out the good dishes and just had a nice regular Wednesday night dinner with our family in the dining room, as opposed to on trays in the family room while watching television. Our family has started doing this since the beginning of the stay-at-home orders, and it’s turned out to be pretty nice, as you might expect. We talk to each other more without our phones interrupting. We also learn more about each other.
I’m not naive enough to think this will go on permanently. I’m sure, in time, we’ll gradually migrate back to our comfortable spots in the family room with our food trays, and enjoy TV again during dinner. But for now, as Carol Burnett used to say, “I’m so glad we had this time together.” (Minus the virus reasoning, of course.)
So, if you’re not doing this already, I encourage you to give it a try, if only to just break up the monotony. Oh, and wear that perfume you’ve been saving, and that nice shirt or outfit you’ve stored in the back of the closet. We all deserve to enjoy something a little special right now.
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