Do you have a nice set of china, a fancy dress or nice bottle of wine that you are saving for a special occasion? Do you have an actual specific occasion in mind or is this just your mind talking you into saving it vs enjoying it? I have been battling “special occasion disorder” for some time now. Some days I win, some days I lose, but it’s a battle worth fighting.
Many years ago, my grandmother wrapped each piece of her milk glass dinnerware set in newspaper, boxed them up, and gave them to me. I had no idea if they were valuable or not, but they were simple, elegant and I loved them. So what did I do with them? I lovingly placed them on a shelf in the basement and continued to use my everyday Corningware that I didn’t care for at all. I actually forgot I even had those dishes that I loved so much…until one day while searching in the basement, I came across the boxes. “Oh yeah, I remember these!”, but in the basement they remained.
One day after reading an article about minimalism, I started to think about all the stuff I have in my house….I could certainly get rid of a lot. I thought of the set of dishes sitting in the basement; too nice to use for everyday dishes. Then I realized the absurdity of my thoughts. I have a set of dishes I love, but they are just too good to use on an ordinary day?? Isn’t every day special? Isn’t every day a gift? Don’t I deserve to surround myself with things I love rather than burying them in the basement? I marched to the basement and hauled the boxes upstairs. I washed and dried them all, then pulled out my CorningWare, boxed it up and donated it. For the last few years I have been blessed every day with my grandmother’s beautiful dishes. Reading about minimalism has shown me that this is a pattern in my life, and I suspect it may be in yours as well.
The easiest and most common place to start when trying to minimalize your life a little bit, is your wardrobe. When I first tackled my closet, my disorder became evident again. I found in my closet some of my favorite clothing items…all pristine and never worn…to be sure that when that special occasion came along, it would be clean, wrinkle free and ready to throw on. The clothes I cared less about, were worn all the time…I suppose because I didn’t care if I ruined them or not. Once I realized this pattern, I knew there was work to do. I started with a purge of things I know I didn’t really like (no matter how often I wore them)…maybe the color just wasn’t right, the fit was a little weird or the style just wasn’t “me”. That was a good start, but where to from there? I found a box to become my donation box. For the last year or so, when I put on an item of clothing and I realize that it’s shrunk and the fit is now off or that I just don’t feel great when I’m wearing it, it goes right into the donation box. I have also tried the rule that if I don’t wear it during the season that it is appropriate for, it has to go in the box. This has me rethink the idea of not wearing my favorite things; I don’t want to give them away!! I’m not perfect at following this rule, but the switch in mindset has made all the difference in the world.
Are you suffering from “Special Occasion Disorder”? Do you have a nice set of wine glasses you never use because they are too special? A beautiful journal you never write in? A great smelling candle you never burn? Cologne you never bother you use? If any of these are true for you, what are you waiting for? Every day is a gift; you get to live this day…is there a more special occasion?
Tracy Martorana is a Nutrition & Wellness Consultant, Meditation Instructor and Herbalist...hoping to inspire you to live your life from a place of Holistic Wellness.