I’m not too big on New Year’s resolutions. I think it’s too much pressure to force all your hoped-for improvements into one day. But there are a few things I want to change right now. And you can't just make changes in January without calling them resolutions, you'll get arrested. So I'll go ahead and call these things resolutions so as not to mess up the natural order of the world and whatnot.
I have a whole list of improvements, really. Things like losing weight, getting rid of some excess possessions, creating more margin in my life for spontaneity and friends, not letting "perfect" be the enemy of "better than nothing," etc. I also want to make sure I Laurel Rest a bit, too.
But one of my top "resolutions" is: To Use the Nice Soap.
Ha! You thought I would say "be a better person" or something, didn't you?
Let me explain. I realized I have things in my apartment I like so much -
that I never use them.
Certain items of clothing, or jewelry, or perfume. Or nice aromatherapy bath products that I *save* because they are more expensive than grocery store shelf brands. But then I realized – what am I saving them for? And how am I enjoying any of these things if I’m too afraid of losing them?
Grocery Store Brand Experience^
Magical More Expensive Brand Made of Unicorns and Contentment Experience^
I think my hoarding tendencies tie back to a bigger issue – closing my fists. I heard something in a sermon one time about how we should hold out our proverbial hands with palms open, rather than clenching around whatever we're afraid to lose. And it makes sense. I've found that the tighter I try to hold onto things, the more anxious I am and the worse off-track I go. So I think, in some weird way, me not using little things that I love is me trying to squeeze them in my hand so I don’t lose them. And I think I do it with big things, too.
But you know what I’ve started to realize? Products go bad over the years. And clothes and jewelry go out of style. So I’ve found myself staring at an item I used to love so much that I wouldn’t use it, and now I don’t even want to use it. So I’m losing it anyway (because I’m throwing it out) and I never got to enjoy it in the first place - because I was so busy being careful with it! And this goes beyond just things. I've probably done it with people, too. I probably could've leaned on friends, or asked for help more along the way but I was scared I might "use up" people's generosity or affection.
So now, when I stare at some bottle of aromatherapy-rific body wash in my shower and start to reach for the grocery store bulk-size bottle of soap instead: I'm going to choose to use the dang nice soap. I'll use it, instead of letting it sit there for a year because I was trying so hard to make it last. And maybe it'll teach me how to better enjoy the bigger things, too.
In 2016, among other things, I’m going to try to enjoy the things I have - products, experiences, people - without constantly thinking I might use them up, or worrying that if I enjoy them, it’ll just make it painful to live without them once they’re gone.
I'm going to try to remind myself that having hands that are open instead of all clenchy will also give me more opportunity to receive new things that might come along.
Besides, trying to hold onto soap never really works out that well anyway...