While I have written a while ago about making my new year’s resolutions early, this is one I have only considered yesterday through reading a thread on a parenting website on the exact same thing I have subconsciously been doing all my life.
You may be the same: you get given (or have bought) that one luxury item that just seems too glamorous for everyday use, the one thing you have that you will use at some point special. I’m talking nothing too valuable in monetary terms, more like Lush bath products, Irregular Choice shoes, Swarowski earrings – anything, in short, that is just that little bit out of the ordinary.
And then you never use it, because that special occasion never arrises.
When I bought my Irregular Choice wedding shoes, I wanted something special that could still be used after the wedding. I did not want a pair of white shoes that were so obviously bought for just that one occasion – it just seemed so wasteful to me. But since the wedding, I have worn the shoes only one other time: on our first anniversary. Ever since then, my beloved shoes have been sitting pretty in their delicately-decorated box in my wardrobe, screaming to be used. But it just never seemed appropriate.
I have done similar with many special things I have bought or been given over time. Looking back over my life,I don’t think I have ever really felt that it was appropriate for me to possess special things. Being the younger of two siblings, I got a lot of hand-me-downs. Having grown up in the East just after the Wall came down and having been raised by a single mother, luxuries were few and far between. Cheap stuff was good and anything with a three-figure price tag would have been seen as extremely wasteful.
I remember when I turned 16 and all I wanted for my birthday was this one special Fossil watch. It only had one number on the clock face behind tinted glass, was silver in colour, with a solid metallic bracelet rather than the faux leather straps on my other watches. I remember feeling so forbiddingly extravagant asking for this watch; it carried a price tag of 80EUR at the time, which seemed way too much for me to want. But it was one of the few times my mother relented. After my birthday, it took me a long time to have the courage to wear it out, for fear of scratching or losing it.
I still have the watch now, over 15 years later. I wear it every day and I got very upset a few weeks back when the strap broke and I thought I had lost it. When I found it a few days later in my car, I was ecstatic. It is one of the few true luxuries I have ever allowed myself to own.
Well, times are about to change.
Reading that thread has made me realise that I will only live this life once and may never get the opportunity to enjoy the luxuries my life has provided. What has been fashionable when bought or gifted two years ago may not be usable anymore in a few years’ time. Why allow such beautiful things to go to waste? Why allow them to gather dust, go out of date, become so old-fashioned as to be embarrassing a few years down the line?
I unpacked my GHDs again, ordered a pair of Irregular Choice shoes I’ve had my eyes on for a while now, am drinking wine out of the goblet I got for Christmas this year. And if things get worn or broken, so what? What use are they at the back of my wardrobe or hidden in a cabinet, to never see the light of day and actually be enjoyed? At least they will have brought joy to
the world me while they lasted, rather than spending that same lifetime just gathering dust.
So raise a glass to a last-minute resolution. And for once, this one is easy to stick to.