What We Use Least

Have you ever had an item so nice, or perhaps rare, that you were afraid to use it?  Not afraid afraid, but hesitant?   As a child, I always loved arts and crafts.  Fancy papers were my favorite.  One time, while out on a day trip to an aquarium, my mom got me a pad of paper shaped like a real whale!  It was a realistic grey and blue, had flippers positioned like it was swimming, and you could see all of the bumps and texture of its skin.  I adored this paper!  It was so special, in fact, that I hardly used it.  I kept the pad safely in the top drawer of my desk and I was unwilling to justify its use on any occasion.  My mom mentioned that I might not want to keep it without using it, but to me it was too special to waste.  Just last year, I found the pad, barely used, when going through my office supplies.  It was cool, no doubt, but hardly worth hoarding and holding onto in the way that I had.  It was no longer a special treasure to me, but instead a sad reminder that I hadn't labeled everything in the house with whale paper when I had the chance.

Photo info: Photographer: R. Wicklund, NOAA Photo Library

Sometimes, even when our brains have developed fully, we put things on a pedestal.  We believe items to be too special to use in our everyday lives.  We baby them and keep them locked away.  We protect them so entirely that we do not even enjoy having them.  These can be silly items, like my whale paper, or bigger ones.  I've even known a man who loved his expensive and somewhat extravagant wedding band so much that he refused to wear it.  Upon questioning, he stated exactly that, "It's too expensive to wear," so he actually doesn't.

I can't speak for everyone, but I think this is a pretty common issue.  Looking at this phenomenon now, I regret not enjoying my whale paper when it was special to me.  Looking at it now, I feel honored to have meaningful items, particularly ones from meaningful relationships in my life, but these should be honored by being in use.

Therefore, I have decided tonight I will choose a china setting, a gift from my lovely grandmother, to use for my evening tea.  I have decided to be mindful and present with how I feel, when I feel it, and allow that to dominate my interaction with my stuff. 

After all, it's just stuff

Why have it if you can't use it, right? 

Can you think of anything you can put to use in your life?