Smile a bit if you have one, some of these, or may be all of these things neatly packed in one of the closets in your house – a dress, sweater, blazer, or a saree with its tag still on; perfume bottles or lip colors – waiting to be opened; beautiful china set still in the box; never worn jewelry or watches; handbags or wallets – waiting to be taken out; a pair of red heels which has never stepped out of your shoe rack; diaries or hand-made journals waiting for the first stroke of your pen; or that old candle waiting to be lit.
This post is about our tendency to preserve certain things in our house which may be expensive or with high emotional value. Of course, I am not talking about some suits or sarees that come out only for wedding receptions or festivals. I am talking about that jewellery that you bought on your wedding and have never worn it again till today. I am also talking about that expensive handbag you bought during your last oversees travel and it is still warmly ensconced in its original packing.
If you are also someone who has the habit of saving, waiting, and preserving, then you must have also defined special days in your life. A special day, when you will wear that special dress or a special party where you will go wearing those red heels. There will be one special poem or story that you will write in your beautiful diary or a journal. One day a special guest will come in whose honor that special china will be taken out and one special night you will light that beautiful candle which you had bought five years ago. Also, probably one day you will find a perfect occasion to wear that perfume and the bright red lip color (which you bought from the Duty-Free with a big smile on your face.)
When will that Special Day come?
That special day will be when I will get promoted or when I will pass that test or when I will finally travel to Europe for that new assignment, or when that boy whom I am dating for past two years will propose me. That special day may come one day or may never come so, it is hard put a definite timeline on it. We are sure of reaching towards our milestone but when and how, is not certain. Life changes every day and we grow every day into a different person while dealing with it. Amidst all this, we hang on to things that are dear to us and we wait for that day when everything will be alright!
When we get hold of something which is unique or beautiful, we want to cherish it and savor it for as long as possible. We do not want that crockery broken and we do not want those red heels stained even a little bit. And to prevent all these catastrophes from happening, we start telling ourselves – this is not the right time or this is not that special day. One day, which will be the perfect day, I will wear this perfume.
But the trend seen in such cases tells us a different story. Many people do not use that long-saved item even when that milestone is achieved. If it’s something to wear, it is either too flashy for the occasion or out of style. If it is something to be used or consumed, it is postponed again for another time because our attachment with preserving that thing is greater than the event itself. That beautiful crockery still remains packed and the food is again served in regular plates. So, why does that saree never comes out of the closet or that watch never rests on your wrist.
You don’t Deserve it, Not Yet!
This is a completely different angle which has nothing to do with the special day but everything to do with our mindset. We have been programmed from the childhood to hold on to things, save them, protect them, and not to waste them. The idea behind this psyche is to always remain prepared for the unknown.
Another thought that has been ingrained in our minds is to lie low, live simply, and keep working hard. Celebrate only when you have achieved success. True, we should follow these principles as they help us to remain focused and disciplined to achieve our major life goals. But what happens when we start applying these principles every day in our life because for us, we are facing a challenge every day and we have to win a war or the other every day.
Two reasons that support this thinking are deeply rooted in our psyche of being cautious and conscious all the time.
- We give too much importance to our smaller or bigger targets and milestones in our life. We believe that the more we will long or suffer for something, the more committed we will be towards our goal.
- We strongly believe that just any day in our life is not special enough. We need to earn every ounce of happiness that we are looking for.
In this quest to earn our place and happiness, we stop living. We stop enjoying life. Struggling, working hard, longing, and waiting become our second nature. We start feeling guilty for enjoying life’s little pleasures. The feeling of “I don’t deserve this” starts seeping in.
Is your Watch telling your Time?
Two friends meet in a restaurant for a coffee. Friend A showed up wearing an expensive watch. It was shining on her wrist and people around could not help but notice that golden dial. Friend B asked jokingly, “Why wear such an expensive watch? At the end of the day, it is just showing time as my watch is?” Friend A said, “Your watch is telling your time and my watch is telling my time.”
Have you unknowingly labelled your time as ‘not mine’? Have you unknowingly labelled yourself ‘undeserving’? The things hidden in your closet may not bring all the happiness in your life but they can be the starting point. They can bring out the smile on you and make you realize that you need not wait for any special day to be happy and to enjoy beautiful things. That special day is today and that special moment is now.
Make Way for the New!
We need to break this pattern of holding ourselves from enjoying the smallest of the pleasures and not feel guilty about it. Use today as a day for “Test Drive”. Take out that handbag from the packing and go to the office on a regular day. You will notice that your seemingly regular day has become special. Take out that dress from the closet, cut its tag and wear it to your local grocery store. Two things will happen – You will no longer be conscious of yourself (as we become when we wear something new) and you will be more comfortable wearing it the next time.
Let me help you take out that candle from its packing and light it tonight in the favorite corner of your house. Here are some of the most common fears that prevent us from taking out our preserved clothes, watches, perfumes, shoes, jewelry etc.
- Doesn’t fit in my daily routine – OK, may be wearing that silk saree or that necklace will be too much for your office but how about wearing it for your next family get-together. How about wearing it in the house and surprising your kids and husband with your new avatar. Not only will you brighten your house, you will be more comfortable and confident wearing it the next time.
- Too beautiful to be Used – Have you checked the new collection of shoes from the same brand you have been preserving for so long. Do you know that cocktail dress you have been saving for your promotion party has already gone out of style? How about promising yourself to buy the latest trend from the same designer for your next party?
- I may never get anything like this again – So true! You may never get anything like this again; you may get better than this! If it is truly a timeless piece, please preserve it and display it proudly. But if your mind is playing tricks and making a monument out of a pebble, you need to tell yourself, “I need to use it and make space for the new one.”
A Quote to End With…
“If you are waiting for the right time….time never comes, time only goes.” – Azereth Skivel