I don’t know if it is age that has caused me to slow down a bit and take notice of certain things, or if it is the experiences that I’ve had over the last few years, or, for that matter, a combination of the two, but something has finally changed in my way of thinking and I thought it worthy of sharing with others.
I do remember a time in my life when everything didn’t seem so rushed. I remember during my first “real” job, by the time I got home, it felt like a really long time until time to go to bed - and I was actually getting home later then than I do now. I also remember taking time to do different things. To try new restaurants and foods, to have a new experience of some sort, to just enjoy and appreciate the simple things in life. I am not sure when that changed for me. Life during the week has become a series of get up, go to work, come home, do the chores, fix dinner, clean up kitchen, go to bed, then repeat the next day. By Friday, I’m dragging and cranky and Saturday and Sunday are usually spent trying to catch up on things that weren’t done during the week and somehow in there rest, relax, and decompress so I am prepared when Monday comes rolling around to do it all over again. There never seems to be time for slowing down or enjoying things, at least not like I used to.
This year has been quite tumultuous. From normal ups and downs, to bouts of emotion and uncertainty, and everything in between. But, like most valleys in our lives, this one has caused me to pause. Pause long enough to appreciate little moments. Where I used to get frustrated when driving (not saying that I don’t anymore because there seems to be a bunch of nuts with driver’s licenses out there), but now, I try to remind myself that traffic is going slow for a reason. That there is some purpose to me not being able to drive as fast and as hard as I usually would. Sometimes I struggle with this, and I suppose I always will, but, it’s at least progress in slowing down. It has also caused me not to be the aggressive driver that I once was, hopefully preventing a stupid accident because of my stupid driving. And it’s also allowed me to notice scenery in our area that is beautiful that I’d never taken time to appreciate! I now take the time to appreciate the color and beauty of a sunrise or a sunset. To stop and watch the deer as they munch on the grass around our place. To appreciate the blue of the sky and the whisps of the clouds in it. Some days, this is harder than others, but, to be still for just a moment and watch, is totally worth it. I take time to enjoy time with my animals. The sweetness of kissing a horse’s nose, being nuzzled by an affectionate kitty cat, being pounced upon by an overjoyed dog, being “Eee Awed” at by a silly donkey begging for treats, even being pecked by a chicken happy to see me, well, it just don’t get any better than that. And after all the funk and the fakeness and stress that the rest of the world seems to be full of, the pureness of the love of an animal seems to clean up a lot of junk! I take time to appreciate hanging out with my husband. He is my best friend and I thoroughly look forward to coming home to him every day and sharing my day with him, or just being together. We don’t have to do anything special to make a moment special and worthwhile. And that my friends, is the beauty of love and marriage! I take time to appreciate my parents a little more too. That I still have them and can go hug them and see them, even with the difficulties that they have, that’s huge. Every moment, good or bad, is so important and they are moments that I cherish and will hold dear, always. I take time to appreciate my family. Without them, through some of the craziness of this year, I don’t know what I would have done. Family is precious and family doesn’t have to be the kind you’re born into. Family is sometimes those who choose to be part of your life when you need them the most, when things aren’t pretty and they love you anyway. Family can be related to you by blood or by choice.
All of these things, and I guess the events of this year, got me to thinking, and I’m sure you’re wondering by this point in my post what in the world all this has to do with fancy dishes. Well, I’m getting to that point, just hang on. My Granny Carbary, was an interesting little lady. We used to joke in the family about what one of us needed for Christmas or for Granny’s birthday, because if we got her something, she’d inevitably give it back to one of us, or she’d pack it away in a drawer to save it and not use it. She was saving it for a special occasion, or something to that effect. I think in our lives anymore, we’re saving so much for a special occasion, but we’re not making time for those special occasions to happen. Those special occasions should happen every day that we’re blessed to draw breath. We shouldn’t need a special dinner in order to use the fancy dishes. Break those suckers out of the china cabinet and use them! Enjoy them! They weren’t meant to be stashed away and only used for Thanksgiving dinner. And if you break one, it’s ok - not the end of the world. Put that pretty tablecloth on the table and enjoy it. So what if you spill something on it - it’s a sign that it was used and enjoyed. Use the “good sheets” that you only save for special company coming over. Put the “good towels” out and use those too. Don’t “hoard-up” all of those “special things,” only to wake up one day and have regrets. Or worse, leave those “special things” for someone else to clean out of your house and not have any memories of you ever using it. “Things” are just that - things. “Things” break, wear out, tear up, and even decay. “Things” do sometimes hold memories for us, or rather us remembering those things brings up good thoughts of a specific time or person. But “things” are just that, they’re “things” and do not last. I think sometimes memories are a more lasting legacy (in some cases). Even as hectic and crazy as the days are now, there are ways to have special moments or make a memory or use something you were saving for a “special occasion.” Life is far too short to have those regrets and those most important to you in your life are far too precious not to make those lasting memories!
So the point of my story here, my advice to you as well as to myself - Just Use the Damn China! Make every moment count! Don’t hold anything back to save it for a special occasion. That special occasion should be every day we’re able to wake up and go about living.