I’m not good with New Year’s resolutions. We sort of have a love/hate relationship going on, and really it ends up with me just feeling like I spend the first few weeks of the year lying to myself. So a few years ago, I made a resolution to make no more resolutions.
But today is May 1st, and for a couple of different reasons that I won’t go into just now, it feels like a chance for a new beginning. So, while I still didn’t join the Get Fit! Stop Smoking! Win the Lottery! bandwagon in January, I did make a sort of … let’s say promise to myself. I’ve done well in keeping it so far, and I’m ready to share it with you. So here it is. This year, I promised to Use Stuff.
Okay, so that probably doesn’t sound earth shattering to you. In fact, it probably sounds pretty dumb. But here’s the thing… I’ve always been the kind of person who will keep things. I keep things that I don’t need just in case I might need it someday. I keep things that I really really treasure… perishable things, special things, useable things. But I don’t use them. I’ll buy a special set of note cards on vacation, and then never use them. Why? Because they’re special. Well duh! Isn’t that why I bought them? Or I’ll get a favourite treat that I can’t get anywhere else, and do I savor it? No, not savor. SAVE. Save until I’ve forgotten about it, or it goes bad and ends up being thrown away. It’s silly, and it’s sad.
My brother is an excellent example what I’m trying to achieve. We recently took a trip to Tokyo, as I’ve mentioned before. There’s a candy that they make there that we love, and we discovered a kind that we’d never seen before while we were there, so we brought back a few packs to enjoy after the trip, but once again I didn’t want to open them. But he has a great ability to live in the moment, and so we did. And each delicious fruit-flavored bite was a perfect little remembrance of Tokyo. Without that push, I’d still have those boxes of unopened delights, just sitting there gathering dust. Because, (and here’s the thing…) before the box is even opened and we’ve had a chance to savor their sweet and sour goodness, I’m already mourning their loss.
I’m mourning their loss while the unopened box is still in my hand. Do you see the problem here?
So that, my friends, has been my resolution for this year. Use stuff. Enjoy the heck out of it. Special things are meant to be enjoyed and treasured and remembered. One of my favourite quotes comes from Wally Lamb’s She’s Come Undone. It’s been too long since I’ve read the book, and I don’t remember the context, but the quote has stuck with me. It says,
“Accept what people offer. Drink their milkshakes. Take their love.”
Isn’t that a beautiful thought? When you’re presented with something wonderful, accept it graciously, be thankful for it, and enjoy it. That is my goal.