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Life in My 50s: What day will be special enough?

Do any of you out there collect things, purchase things, ask for things, only to store them away in a closet or drawer for a day you imagine will be special enough to deem them worthy of use? Case in point: my collection of handmade soaps, beautiful bath gels and loofahs, body lotions, and more. I’m a bit of a hoarder when it comes to this stuff because I’m always waiting for some magic moment when all the planets will align and I will know for certain that THIS is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice, and use special soaps!

But that day never seems to arrive. I have drawers filled with soaps of every scent and shape. I have a cabinet filled with moisturizers and foot scrubs, bath bubbles, and candles. Let’s not forget the candles (see below). candlesI’ve been carting some around for more than a decade. That’s not just frugal; that’s crazy. I’m sure any scent these candles ย and soaps had have long since given up the ghost.

Just recently I was buying soaps for someone on my Christmas shopping list, and the soap artisan (if that’s the proper term) informed me, when I mentioned my fear of using good soap, that anything more than a year old is probably not worth using. What?!?! But I’ve been so good about saving and not squandering my soap. Now I find out it was all for nought? I brought soaps back from Subiaco, Italy — made by the monks of St. Benedict’s Monastery — more than two years ago. Not only do they remain unopened; they are still in the brown bag from the gift shop, stuffed in a dresser drawer. Carrot soap and olive oil soap, now with no more pizazz than something I could pick up in the local Dollar Store.

So…I have decided to start using all these goodies. And when I finally work my way through my stash, I’m going to replenish, unwrap, and repeat. ย I’ve already lathered up with an awesome handmade Nag Champa-scented vegan soap in total defiance of my otherwise ordinary life. I have declared that every day will be special enough for scented soaps, and I’m slowly working up the nerve to take that same approach with my other body products and candles. Just look at that pile of rapidly deteriorating luxuriousness. bath stuffWhat am I waiting for? I may start showering twice a day just to use this stuff while it still has a scent.

What is it that you love to have around but push to the back of your closet or drawers, hoping for a magic moment when you feel worthy? Get it out today, now, and revel in the wonder that is you.

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11 Comments Post a comment
  1. JUST this month I broke down and started using the many, many, (ridiculous amount) of candles I had purchased from Party Lite parties in the ’90’s! I used them all up and actually had to go to Home Goods to buy more. I used tapers, and tea lights, and pillars, oh my!

    Enjoy your collections. ๐Ÿ™‚

    December 30, 2012
  2. Oh Mary, at least you seem to know where your things are… I often squirrel them away, and come upon them so much later. I just have too much little stuff, saved for… what?

    December 31, 2012
  3. Barbara #

    I JUST went through all my stashes of lotions, creams, soaps, perfumes YESTERDAY! So many were discolored from age and neglect. One of my oldest, dearest friends gave me an exquisite perfume and body lotion last month for my birthday…I’ve been using it everyday that I’m not working!

    December 31, 2012
  4. Jean #

    I have 2 huge bags of this stuff. I kid you not. This post cracked me up.

    December 31, 2012
  5. Mary DeTurris Poust #

    I am SO glad I’m not alone in this, ladies. Now get out there and use some soap! ๐Ÿ™‚

    January 1, 2013
  6. I hate to be the naysayer here, but I really dislike cake soaps, and I need to re-gift them when I get them because they go to waste here. (I’m a foam soap girl all the way,and my family has adopted this as well).

    But I agree that nice “smelly” lotions are a worthwhile indulgence. I was in a shoe store recently, and the clerk said, “You smell so good!” That made me smile. I keep some nice smelling lotion in the side well of our minivan, and put some on after I park. It’s become something of a ritual, esp. in the winter months.

    January 2, 2013
    • Mary DeTurris Poust #

      I love the idea of putting a bottle of lotion in the car side pocket. I need to try that. All I’ve got in my car is hand sanitizer. It’s not nearly as fun. And it just makes dry winter hands even drier.

      January 2, 2013
  7. HOW TRUE!

    I decided about 3 years ago that at least once a week we would have a ‘fancy-schmacy’ dinner compleete with our ‘good’ china and glasses. I realized that I was using up a very large part of my cabinet space for dishes we used twice a year. Now, we pull them out weekly and remember that a family dinner is a special occasion as well.

    thank you for reminding me that I need to share all my hoarded lotions with my special family members as well!


    January 9, 2013
    • Mary DeTurris Poust #

      Thanks for your comment. I love that you use your good china for regular family meals. We should do more of that!

      In chapter 5 of my new book, “Cravings,” I suggest families try having old-fashioned Sunday suppers once in a while — in the dining room, with the good china, etc., but I have to admit, we don’t do that too often around here. Maybe I’ll try it this Sunday. For no reason at all. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Thanks again for stopping by!

      January 9, 2013

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