Extracting Joy

Use your beautiful precious things.

This is a life lesson that keeps presenting itself to me.

Our neighbor had a Corvette that spent 98% of the time in the garage. Occasionally it came out to be washed and waxed and back into the garage for another week. It wasn’t vintage… Nothing stopping it from a trip to the grocery store, except it was too precious.

A few weeks ago our neighbor died. When the people came to take the car to sell as part of his estate, do you know that car barely could make it down the driveway? A Corvette! It was all sputters and clouds of smoke.

Teeny problem with using our treasures… All that love can wreck them. I am a fan of Emma Bridgewater dishes from England. Some are hand-painted and limited production. My daughter flung herself on the couch and my “Winter in the Country” mug broke! She was possibly sadder than I was because she knew it was really special and not easily replaced. Then I felt bad that she felt bad! We both needed to hear me say the truth that if we put away our treasures so nothing happens to them, we deny ourselves the opportunity to love and enjoy them.

Are you saving precious things for future generations? The most valuable things to loved ones are the things that bear the marks of our own love for them. Mom’s cookbook with the handwritten notes and stains trumps a pristine cookbook on the shelf every time.

BeatrixPotterMy beautiful mug-with-no-handle is currently a chair for my Beatrix Potter friend Jeremy Fisher. It still brings me joy when I see it and my daughter laughed when she noticed him on the bookshelf.


11 thoughts on “Extracting Joy

    1. healthfulsave Post author

      Thank you, Alice! It may sound kooky, but if our neighbor had driven that car more, it would have had a positive ripple in his life. He would have been happier, he could have met other car lovers, he might have allowed someone into his life who could have known him in these last years. A very sad situation that had had our whole block coming together sharing emergency contacts.

  1. "No Pension, Will Travel!" with Cheryl + Paul

    Important stuff! I’m in the midst of decluttering our family home of many years. The same pattern keeps repeating itself. I find a hoard of old things, likely passed down through the family. They’ve been “set aside” because they’re “valuable”, or something like that. But since we can’t keep everything “valuable”, I decide they must go. Since they’re so “valuable”, I’m sure that someone else will want them, maybe even pay something for them. Yesterday, I left home with 10 boxes of “probably valuable” books in the car. At the end of the day, I returned with most of them – unwanted, even for free. For the few I sold, I received enough money to buy my son a dinner out. But not including the gas for the day. So, what was so “valuable” that these items had been saved for so long. Hmmmm.

    1. healthfulsave Post author

      I am nodding my head knowingly! I have a few of those books too, Including a massive illustrated Shakespeare. Even in the unlikely event I wanted to read Shakespeare, I literally could not sit with the book on my lap. A friend moved to Japan and gave me his valuable book and now I am stuck with it! Alibris.com is a useful site if you think you do have something valuable and want to check prices.

      There’s something to be said for just getting the stuff out of your house and letting the items be someone else’s good fortune. Right now Shakespeare is in my laundry room of all places.

      Here’s some food for thought for you. I’m working up to a blog post on it.

      1. healthfulsave Post author

        Paul and Cheryl – I took my own good advice and looked up my Globe Shakespeare on alibris.com and abebooks.com. Guess how much my 2,300 page book is worth? Between 6.99 and 12.00!! I had to laugh at one comment on Amazon that “future generations will argue over who gets to have this lovely book.” No need to fight… I have one for you!

  2. Jennifer

    I just love this. I have a collection of Starbucks Mugs from all over the world, some from really unusual places and those mugs are rare. When guests come over I open my china cabinet and tell them to pick one. Sometimes they worry that they’ll break one and I tell them, I’d rather the mugs be used and broken over time with memories of my loved ones drinking from them than to sit in the cabinet just looking at me.

    I rotate them from time to time so they all get used. 🙂

    People have brought me mugs from Tokyo, Copenhagen, and a few other places I haven’t been and when I use those, I’m reminded of the friends who gave them to me.

    Thanks for stopping by the blog to read about my meeting FLYlady!

    1. healthfulsave Post author

      That is so neat! My husband has an SBUX mug from New Mexico that he cherishes, and uses! I also rotate my mugs seasonally.

      When my mug broke I said, “How come my favorite ones always break?!” The truth, though, is that those are the ones I use most so they are more at risk.

      I would love to see photos of some of your mugs on your blog 😄

  3. karlikelley

    I have things that are priceless to me because they belonged to people that are only left in my heart. Most currently mean nothing to my children beyond the fact that they are present around the house and each is a story I can tell. I’m also saving them so I can share the memories with my grandchildren (in the way, way future). Will they matter to my kids when I’m gone because they were a passive part of their lives? Will they matter because I’ve included them in their children’s lives? No clue, but I’d like to think they will. I tell the kids they will only have to keep my “precious” things until I forget about them or die, whichever comes first. In the meantime, I get happy every time I see the memories while I’m (sort of) patiently waiting to include them in the lives of the next generation of my family. Is that crazy?


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