Keeping things for Best

My mother in law has recently moved to residential care and we have begun the task of emptying her house. Amongst the many items accumulated in her 90 years of life are two bone chine tea sets. As far as my husband can recall, these have not been used in his lifetime because his mother was “saving them for best”.  In other words, she had decided they were so precious to her that they could only be used for the most special of special occasions. However, no such occasions ever arose and the beautiful, precious tea sets have languished in a cupboard, neither seen nor used.

I understand that there may be a generational aspect to this story, but when I talk to friends, I often hear that they have a pair of shoes or a jacket that that they keep in their wardrobe and only bring out for “special” events.  I wonder what we gain from denying ourselves the joy of using or wearing beautiful things.

Keeping things for best implies that either we or our guests are not worthy of such special items. We might be afraid of wearing them out or causing damage to them. Consequently they sit hidden away. Before we know it the years have passed, the treasured items are still unused, and we have denied ourselves the pleasure of the thing that was acquired to bring us happiness. What a waste!

So, this week, pull one of the things you have been “keeping for best” out of the cupboard and use it. Enjoy every moment of the experience.  Share your love of the item with others. Feel the pleasure of using these treasures and know that you are worthy of them.


P.S. I’d love to hear your stories of using your “best” things.

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