Sunday, January 22, 2012

Use it up.

     Many people know that if you don't wear your pearls every now and then, they'll dull.  The natural oils from our skin actually infuses them.  Since I inherited my grandmother's pearls, see this is a metaphor for what I'm about to say.
     After my grandmother passed away last year, my mom found all kinds of unused items in her drawers.  My grandma wore only white sleeveless shirts, and would wear them until they were ragged.  Good for her, for not subscribing to the disposable world we now live in.  On the other hand, there's a middle ground.  When she needed new things, she would get them, and have trouble using them.
     I learned countless positive things from my grandmother's life.  She was strong, smart, kind, musical, glamorous, funny....I could go on.  I am surprised, now, at what I've learned from her death.  I do this too, Grandma.  I'm afraid to use all these great things.  I reach for the worn-out socks before the new ones.  I have clothes with tags, make-up I've received as gifts and never cracked open.  I'm always waiting for that perfect moment.  Suddenly I realize: this moment is NOW.
     This, my grandma, combined with timely small lessons in my own life.  A lipstick I was saving suddenly is hardened and stinky.  A sweater with tags on it, saved from last year, is too big on me now.  I never got the chance to enjoy these things. 
     I'm not saying we should all consume more; quite the opposite.  I think that in consuming well and fully the things we have, we will realize better what matters to us.  I can better prioritize when I'm not hoarding all the newness.
     I resolve to USE IT UP.  I will wear my grandma's aprons until they fall apart.  I will use the disposable tissue pack that she used to carry.  I will wear her scarves, and maybe even her lipstick.  I'm not going to save my best things for rainy days, or glamorous days, or special days.  Today is that day. 
     Do you do this too?  Do you reach into your jewelry box and shy away from the best things?  Do you keep those fancy boots in the back of the closet, because it's not the right moment?  Well actually, it is.  Pull it out.  Use it up and wear it out.  You're alive today.  It's a beautiful place to be.
     Wear your pearls.  Whatever they may be.  Go wear them.  Right now.