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Use It or Lose It

by Arleen M. Kaptur

Do you still have that great sweater wrapped up in the tissue paper, still in the box, that your significant other gave you? You know the one - you had stared at it each and every time you went by that store and you could give the details of every stitch, button, and the color - well, it was you. You know you told everyone that if there ever was a color that was made just for a certain person - this was your color. Now, why is that sweater on that shelf? Because you are "saving" it, right?

The worse thing you could do is wear that ratty bathrobe when you have that great one in your closet. You have family over and your dishes are chipped and the rose pattern is so faded that it looks like a muted design of different colors. There is that gold-rimmed china decorating the shelves of your buffet - but you won't use it. Once again, you are "saving" them for that special moment in time.

That moment that you are waiting for is now. It is not tomorrow, or the next holiday. It is right now - today - and there are no ands, ifs, or buts about it. A while back a friend of mine had a devastating fire in her home. Her family had given her Lenox China with the pattern she had dreamt about as a young girl. There it was, on the shelf, in the buffet, nice to look at but now all gone. It was never used. It was waiting for that special moment that never came and will never come. The next set might be just as nice but it is not the set that meant so very much. Use the one that means love, appreciation, and good feelings to you, whatever the item may be. That is the one that you will treasure when you remember using it, enjoying it, and marveling at how great you or your home may look, depending on the item we are talking about. If you never take it out of the box or off the shelf, you will have a memory. It will be a sad one - you never got to enjoy the item.

The point here is that holding on to things, whether it is clothes, dishes, glassware, even the fine perfume you bought yourself when you went to Europe, they are still "things." Things have a way of disappearing, or being left behind when a family member passes, or even with calamities such as fire, or wind storm. They are gone, you and your family are safe, but "things" were broken and now you realize that you never used "it" and never got around to seeing just how special they were when you shared them with family and friends. You know you would look terrific in that sweater and your relatives would just stand in awe at the marvelous outfit that you so stunningly have on - but it will only happen if you use the item. Sitting in that box, between the tissue paper wrappings, and truly getting old - no one sees it, knows about it, or worse of all, no one gets pleasure or joy in the "thing."

So whatever it is you feel you have to save for special moments, special days, or special feelings, they are now, right here, this day, from sunrise to sunset. It is the perfect opportunity, it doesn't get better than today, and well, it's time for your treasure to be out there where it really wants to be - in the open - admired, ahh'd over, and doing what it was manufactured to do.

Don't wait and don't save until tomorrow. There are so many if's in the world today, that today is the best tomorrow you will ever have. Enjoy it, use your best, and remember one thing - there is no better time than the present - after all - isn't that what we all have at this very moment - the present?

Arleen Kaptur may be contacted at asnorthwoods@centurytel.net. Arleen M. Kaptur has written numerous article for newspapers and magazine. Her new book will be out in 2008.

Categories: Advice, Ideas & Stories, MomShare,

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