It’s that time again.
I have periods of time (much more frequently as I have gotten older and am more appreciative of the beauty of simplifying areas of my life) that I get the Urge to Purge.
I am currently in my Urge to Purge state. This extends not only to my physical environment, but my mental and psychological environment as well.
I’ve bagged up clothes that I haven’t worn in over a year, knic knacs that don’t fit with my current decorating style, Christmas candles, baskets, 3 yoga mats (I have no idea what in the hell that was about), thrown away old papers, packed up teaching materials (that was ouchy), and all manner of odds and ends….and then I tackled some mental baggage that has been cluttering up my precious brain matter.
ahhh, that feels good!
and then there was the china…
you know the marriage china. The china that I went and registered for over 25 years ago (oh yes I was a child bride!)…the Noritake china with the exceedingly romantic (at least in my 19 year old mind) name “Devotion”.
the GOOD china…
the actual china
The china that has moved with us 6 different times over the life of our marriage; the china that looks pretty but that we don’t use; the china that I only get out (if I remember) on special occasions, the china that gathers dust as it waits patiently to be taken out of the china cupboard…because I’m saving it.
It occurred to me that the china also represents some of me. Saving some of my good stuff, putting it away and out of sight…saving it for a special occasion. Operating under the idea that if I trot out the good stuff that maybe when I go back for more there won’t be any.
Keeping it (me) safe…
because…it’s fragile and what if it breaks (or no one likes it?)
because it’s “out of sight, out of mind” (much like our natural gifts and talents)
What, exactly, are you saving your good china for?
P.S. The Noritake Devotion China is staying for now. It’s been given a new home so it can be used more regularly and enjoyed 🙂
Rochelle Veturis Coles says
Okay D, you’re making me so glad hubs and I did not register for wedding China 🙂 All kidding aside, I like where you’re going with all of this. Why is it that we always save the good stuff, our best stuff (i.e. content)? Hoarding it, being secretive with our fav tools and tricks, and as you said, being afraid to give it away ’cause we’re afraid we won’t have anything remaining. Don’t we realize that when we give our very best it clears the clutter and gives us space to create even greater things than what we had in the first place?
yes that’s it exactly Rochelle! There are many interpretations to take away from keeping and saving your ‘china’ 🙂 I love how you articulated that when you make a clear space it then allows greater things to come in! I would much rather have well used and loved “china”, rather than china that just sits around and is forgotten. Goes to that saying ‘if you don’t use it you lose it’ too.
Thanks for such thoughtful comments
P.S. I’m glad you didn’t register for china either!!
@Rochelle you are one smart cookie for not registering for wedding china! We still have our Lenox Platinum line all boxed up in the upper cabinets and they have moved with us several times for over 10 years now! Danielle, great post! Why are we hanging on the the wedding China??? LOL!
LOL…I hear ya 🙂 Have you given any thought as to why you don’t use your china? Maybe you should try using it once a week? As for hanging on to it, I know for me there is certainly nostalgia and sentimental value in not giving it up (it was what we were supposed to do right?) I am determined now that if I’m going to keep it, then I need to use it and enjoy it!!
Thanks for stopping by 🙂
j steele says
First the memories: I actually picked the silverware and now we use it all the time. (20 yrs ago…)
Great metaphor and the bummer is that sometimes when that ‘moment’ comes, you forget that you even have it b/c you haven’t used it for so long. How sad! So I completely agree with Rochelle about giving our best and it pushes us to the next level.
I think what may keep me from doing it more is that I may feel it’s unsustainable (so I’ll be viewed as inconsistent or worse- a hypocrite) and I don’t get enough encouragement. Neither is really a good excuse- just a little self diagnosis.
Keep those great thoughts coming Danielle!
Oh gosh J…you are better than I am…I very vaguely remember picking out the china pattern. I remember more planning the actual wedding (which I’m not sure if that’s a sad thing or not!)
Hmmm…that’s an interesting observation J. And you’re right, I don’t think that they are excuses at all. We could all use a bit more self-diagnosis from time to time 🙂
thank you for commenting!
Best advice my Mom gave me : Use the fine china everyday. When my parents divorced my Mom used the “holiday” silver and fine china everyday. Each day at meals we felt like we were special because we were using all the special stuff.
I LOVE your mom!!! I think that that was awesome advice and I bet it has served you very well in other areas of your life 🙂 And you hit the nail squarely on te head…”we felt we were special because we were using the special stuff” and that is exactly what it is all about. When you use your special sauce every day, you feel pretty special too!
Thank you so much for stopping by!
Paul Tran says
My upcoming wedding is a little different – no china; only money, lol! Well – there is 1 piece of china for the marriage (my fiancee is Chinese, hehe) =P
You’re definitely right – for the context that you’re using “china” – more people “save it” than give it, share it, show it off, maximize it. People hoard money and don’t spend a little to treat themselves for their hard work along the way; and die and have nothing to show for it. People don’t give money or time to charity, and never get to realize the ROI in heart and soul; and they continue to live unhappy and unfulfilled, and meaningless. Smart people hide their knowledge from people, afraid people will steal their “edge;” and don’t share that knowledge to make other peoples’ lives better, and not letting you continue to develop yourself. People don’t maximize their ideas, afraid of being judged, or being outcast; and they don’t do the world a favor to improve peoples’ lives, economies, etc.
Let’s whip out the china every day, like what April says. Instead of making 1 day special, make every day special. It’s in our control!
oh gosh Paul you have gone deep on this one…and done it beautifully. As I read your comment, I kept coming back to the thought of a “lack” mindset as opposed to an “abundance” mindset. You really hit that on the head there!
Thank you for sharing your brilliance and insight 🙂
John Lusher says
How much better off we would all be if we used the China in our life instead of saving it! Of course I mean that metaphorically 🙂 Saving our best for some future date that may or may not happen is senseless to me; we should use all of our gifts, including our fine China as often as we can! Love the post Danielle!!
absolutely John! really in the final analysis, that’s what it’s all about…we try to save our best hoping it will get better or because we think we won’t have any more of it; which is so not true.
Thank you for stopping by my friend
Experience. Women save their china and bring it out only when they have enough life experience. Suddenly, one day they wake up and realize that with each passing day they are the only ones missing out by not using it.
Very wise Bruno 🙂
Thank you for stopping by.