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What are you saving it for?

Have you ever heard those heartbreaking stories about the old lady who dies, and her daughter finds the fancy nighties and gorgeous dresses – with tags still on them – unworn because Mom was saving them?

Or maybe it’s a set of beautiful china that was just too special to ever actually use.  Or champagne flutes that are too delicate to trust to anyone else to hold.

We went to a dinner a couple of weeks ago with a group of people, and the conversation turned (as it frequently does with this group!) to wine.  One of the gentlemen mentioned that he’d bought some Bordeaux back in the 1970s that they hadn’t opened yet.  The fact is that he’d had the wine valued, and, in his words, he “can’t afford to drink it”!

My question to him was (and still is) – what are you saving it for?  I mean.  The guy, like the wine, wasn’t getting any younger.  And, unfortunately, he wasn’t likely to age nearly as well.

Life is short.

It just seems like there’s something wrong with a mindset that causes one to acquire – and keep – things, yet be reluctant to use and enjoy them.

I used to keep bags of blueberries, cherries, and strawberries in the freezer.  Initially, it was to make jams, until I realized I was making all these jars of jam – and I no longer had teachers and baby sitters and bus drivers to give them to.  So I just “saved” the fruit.  For what?  I have no idea.

Then we had our one power outage in 20 years that lasted more than a couple of hours, and I had to throw out all those carefully preserved – and ruined – berries.  I would have done better to enjoy them in smoothies until they were gone.

You just never know.

We’ve all seen the inspirational stuff – the “carpe diems” or “eat dessert first”  or whatever.  But do we really take that to heart?  Oh yeah, we think we do – we feel so daring when we order our dessert first (or at all!).  And we pat ourselves on the back when we actually wear that lacy bra we bought last time we were feeling edgy.

You know what?

Life really is short.  And you really never do know.

So I’m saying this:  Make it a habit to order your dessert first.

Eat your fruit while it’s fresh.

Wear that fancy underwear to work.  (Unless it’s scratchy – then just get rid of it!)

Use the good china, and break out the crystal once in a while.

And for heaven’s sake, drink the good wine.

But most of all, make sure your loved ones know that they are.  Loved, that is.

Categories: aging family home


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