A few years ago, a friend of mine was moving across country. She was planning to drive — all the way from Iowa to California — so that she’d have her car out there for her new job.
“That’s a lot of miles to put on your car, though,” I said, doing my best impression of a rational adult.
“Are you sure you want to do that?”
“Well, cars are meant to be driven.”
This concept blew my mind. “You’re right,” I said. “You should totally drive.”
I have this tendency in my life to save things. I wear my crummiest clothes around the house and out running errands while I save my newer, trendy, I-actually-feel-good-in-this clothes for “going out” or “seeing people”.
Going out and seeing people are things I rarely do. So most of my life is spent in clothes that aren’t that great. Meanwhile my more interesting clothes eventually go out of style having hardly gotten any wear.
My family and I tend to save the tastiest food for each other — everyone’s afraid to take the last piece of cake for themselves. But what happens when we all do that is that the cake eventually goes moldy and has to be thrown out.
I rarely burn candles because I want to save them to have, since I enjoy burning candles so much.
Just as cars are meant to be driven, clothes are meant to be worn, food is meant to be eaten, and candles are meant to be burned.
I just thought of another example: last night I was KonMari-ing my beauty products and as I was sorting through my nail polish collection I realized 1) how many I have, 2) how incredibly old some of them are, and 3) how 6 days out of 7 I sport chipped nail polish because I feel like redoing it more frequently would be wasteful and that I’d go through nail polish too frivolously.
The cheapskate’s dilemma
I do think my frugality plays a massive role here. The more I use something, the more I’ll have to buy to replace it. The more I wear my cute clothes around the house, the more they’ll get washed and worn and become pilled, and have to be replaced.
But also, what if that outfit would have been perfect for a hypothetical event that likely will never exist, but by then I’ll have ruined it by spilling the juice I don’t drink on it? Then what? Then I’ll really be sorry.
There’s a great video by Youtuber and ex-image-consultant Mimi Ikonn where she addresses the tendency to save clothes.
You can skip ahead to 1:54 for the part most relevant to this post, but you have the 6.5 minutes, so just watch the whole thing.
What I realized is that you can’t keep these clothes for “special occasions” because every single day is that special occasion. Every day you’re alive you should be presenting your best self to the world and the world in return rewards you with new opportunities, a better mood, and just a better energy overall.
Life is meant to be lived
I didn’t intend for this post to go the direction of clothes and products, but I guess I didn’t have a specific direction in mind.
I think my point is, don’t be afraid of living your life. Dress well today; burn that candle you love today. If you fill your life and your space with things that spark joy, you might as well actually let yourself enjoy them.
What’s something you’ve been saving?