Your Ideas for Savoring, Not Saving, Your Life

Remember my article from a few weeks ago about enjoying vs. saving “the good stuff” in life for special occasions? (If you don’t recall it, it’s probably because you were engrossed in my shiny new book—right?! I respect you for putting the rest of your life on hold until the very last page.)

Use the good dishes!Okay but anyways, I am inspired by so many of your responses to this topic, and who am I to hoarde all this inspiration? We learn and get inspired vicariously through one another, so here goes it. Brace for “enjoy the good stuff now” examples from Real, Living Humans:

  • Years ago, I bought my mom some special peppermint tea for Christmas. I knew she loved this particular tea, but she would never spend money on “the good stuff.” She told me she treasured it and would drink it on special occasions. Fast-forward a year a year and a half, and I am cleaning out her small kitchen after her death. I found the tea I had given her, with only three teabags missing. She ran out of time for all those “special occasions” and never enjoyed them. Now, when we are contemplating a splurge, my wife will remind me, “Drink the tea.”
  • I had a partner, an amazing coach, who would sometimes prompt his clients by saying, “what if what we were talking about your real life.” He believed that every day was the day you drank the good stuff.
  • One of the best pieces of advice that resonates with me today… “Use the fine China!” This came from a dear colleague whose husband suffered a debilitating illness only a few years after their marriage. She said, why the heck do I have this stuff but never use it?! Why can’t we have a Tuesday night dinner and get out the fine China to make us feel special? The thing is, you can!!
  • Burning my Nest Fragrances candle right now!!! WHAT A SMELL!!
  • Here’s what I’ve started this past year, & it’s amazing how much RICHER life is!! 1) Wear my BEST jewelry every day 💍2) Buy GOOD chocolate regularly 🍫 3) Tell the hubby, “I made reservations at [swankier place than usual] because I wanna wear my FANCY dresses” 👗 (They do NOT deserve to be sidelined, and neither do we! “Someday” is a trap!)
  • I use my China every day! I even used it for a recent work party the clients loved it & appreciated it!
  • I never used to wear my expensive jewelry, and then the day I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I started wearing it every single day. I don’t have a lot of it but not a single piece was kept under wraps from that day forward. I’ll wear a special ring or necklace or earrings or even my grandmother’s broach literally every day, because life is too valuable to have our valuables stuffed into jewelry boxes.
  • My husband and I used to decant our wine and then we got lazy and stopped doing it. Reading this reminded me that we need to bring it out of hiding and use it, starting tonight. It’s not the easiest thing to keep clean but it makes the experience of having the wine we like even more special, so it’s worth it.
  • My Aunt Clara used to make special cherry squares just for Christmas and in the last few months she was dying she said she wished she’d made them out of the blue more often. She knew how much we all gobbled them up. I got her recipe from my cousin and I make them every Christmas AND summer, just for her.
  • I don’t save anything for later. I believe in enjoying it now! The only thing saved for later is a ring I’m saving for my daughter. It’s all worth enjoying now. Saving means not doing, for the most part.
  • The pandemic changed my perspective. The “good” wine is now just as likely to be opened on a Tuesday as it is when we have friends over.
  • My kids have “nice” clothes and I just realized that I’ve been saving them for something special, and then they grow out of them without having hardly worn them at all!
  • Yes, life is a special occasion and to be enjoyed! I’m usually pretty good at celebrating daily but I hold off on the “special dishes” because they’re not dishwasher safe lol but I’ll use them tonight.
  • I have a scarf that’s super expensive that I hardly ever wear. I remember splurging on it and maybe I’ve felt guilty about spending that much money on something, but now it’s coming out of hiding! I can wear it with a crisp white shirt and I’ll feel like a million bucks! (Not that it cost me a million $$$.)
  • My dad used to fix up classic cars and yet he’d never really drive them around to enjoy them, they’d just stay in the garage. We were talking about this last week, and he regrets not going on joyrides with them. Now he’s older and doesn’t drive. I’m going to rent a classic car and take him on the joyride he never gave himself.
  • I’m going to wear my Louboutin heels even if they do give me blisters!!
  • I just said to my mom yesterday why don’t you put all that “good” silverware that you haven’t used in 20 years in your drawer and start using it.
  • There’s a fancy restaurant in town and we’ve been saying for years that we’re going to go for a special occasion. Time keeps passing by. I just booked us for the first reservation I could get, in a few weeks, on a random Wednesday evening for NO SPECIAL OCCASION AT ALL! And on Opentable, where I booked the reservation, I clicked “special occasion” anyways because as you say, life is the special occasion!
  • We have all this nice outdoor furniture that we don’t set up all that often, because it’s just the two of us since our son moved out, so we just put the cushions and pillows and the lanterns and we’re going to enjoy outdoor coffees and dinners again.
  • I’m sporting my designer sunglasses that I rarely wear today because of this!
  • You know what’s funny? We got a record player and we only use it when company comes over for dinners. Why? Why aren’t we playing records just because? I’m going to turn up the volume tonight!
  • A friend of mine gives me really nice skincare products when she comes to visit, and I’m always so grateful but I put them away for later. I have a whole medicine cabinet full of masks and creams that are just wasting away, so now I am going to use them. I tried a new one just this morning and it felt like a gift all over again.
  • I like to paint and I have two sets of brushes: the everyday ones, and the expensive ones. I only use the cheap everyday ones and keep telling myself that I’ll use the good ones soon. But I’ve been saying that for about a year, maybe 18 months. I think I’ve been waiting to get better, so I don’t waste my beginner-ness on the good brushes, but that’s just plain silly, right? I could be better if I used the better brushes? Or at least it would feel more fun.
  • I’m using the good Madagascar vanilla the next time I bake, because WTF am I saving it for?!?!?!
  • Booked a blowout with my favorite stylist for the middle of the week, for me, instead of the weekend when my boyfriend comes into town.
  • There are like 3 gift cards in my drawer that I keep thinking I’ll spend, but I don’t. Look who’s shopping this weekend!!!!
  • This might sound silly but I like to scrapbook and I have all these beautiful stickers and adornments that I’ve been saving, and I don’t know why. The next set of pages I make are going to have the best stickers beside the photos!
  • I love real maple syrup but I keep it in the back of the fridge because it’s too valuable to actually use on pancakes. This weekend the kids are getting liquid gold (or I will be 😊).
  • My boss gave me a great bottle of red wine when I left the company 12 years ago. I’m pretty sure it’s ready to drink, and even though I don’t have a reason to celebrate soon, I want to have it just to show myself I can have nice things. I’m going to light candles, eat at the table, and pour that wine with my favorite roasted chicken. Just cuz.

“Just cuz.” Is that not a mic drop moment? And if that didn’t resonate, how about the joyride point above? The irony of that guy’s dad putting off joy … when rides full of joy were right there for the taking, the entire time he was fixing up his cars.

I hope these examples spurred a few “ah-ha’s” for you about where you might be delaying your own Good Life for a later than just might not arrive (ouch). Several of these examples provided wake up calls for me (OMG I am going to use allllll the fancy face masks I’ve been accumulating for special occasions … my face won’t know what happened to it).

Keep sharing your examples with me … and keep busting yourself when you catch yourself living a “special occasion only” kind of life. You’re special, and the occasion is NOW. Just cuz.

Jodi Wellman

P.S.: I have a great idea about how to make life special: order my book, You Only Die Once: How to Make It to the End with No Regrets!

P.P.S.: Let’s do Instagram together.

P.P.P.S.: Oh and just in case you missed it… I’d love you forever if you took 16 minutes out of your life to watch my TEDx talk!

 

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