When we got married, we were not planning on buying china. We were young, poor, and had more important things to buy…like sheets. I remember being completely shocked at the price of sheets. Much to our surprise and delight, Greg’s grandma gave us her great grandmother’s Noritake china as a wedding gift. It was beautiful…exactly the pattern that I would have chosen, complete with 10 place settings, 2 matching serving bowls, a gravy boat, and even a butter dish. We were so excited to have it, and so worried about breaking it, that we kept it safely packed in boxes for 10 years, only pulling it out occasionally for an anniversary dinner or other special occasion. We carried it in those same boxes through six moves, making sure that it got packed into our car and not the moving truck…just in case.
We finally bought a home that had enough cabinets to unpack the china, but still only pulled it out once or twice a year for special occasions, like our traditional Valentine’s Day dinner with the kids.
The kids love eating on those beautiful plates, especially the little kids, because it makes them feel grown up. Carson will occasionally ask if we can eat on the “Chinese plates.” The answer to his plea, however, is usually “No,” because we don’t want to break our precious family heirlooms.
Recently, however, I have questioned our entire approach to this beautiful china. I have wondered why we own such exquisite dishes if we only use them once a year. Why can’t today be a special occasion, just because we make it so? Why can’t we celebrate the kids good grades, a good day at the office, or simply making it through a stressful day by pulling out the china, even if it is just for pizza? Why shouldn’t we pull it out for Sunday dinner…just because?
I no longer see any good reason why we should not use it in the course of our everyday lives, and we are going to start doing it! Not every day, mind you, but much more often than we are doing now.
Would great-great grandmother want her beautiful china to be collecting dust in a cabinet or a box, or to be used, loved and enjoyed? Although I did not really know her, I would guess the latter. If the plates get chipped by little hands, would that be the end of the world? Hardly. They are dishes, for goodness sake. Expensive and beautiful dishes, but dishes just the same.
I love this quote from Henry B. Eyring:
If you put off the small things that have the potential to make life meaningful and enjoyable because you are waiting for the perfect occasion, you may eventually end up with a life full of empty yesterdays.
I know life gets crazy. Believe me, with a family of seven, I know! I am right in the middle of the end of the school year insanity which makes me want to go hide on a deserted island with nothing more than a book and a lawn chair for the next month. Even amidst the craziness, however, remember that today is a gift, and make it count. Make today “Someday.”
Say yes when your little one asks you to go push him on the swing or play a silly board game for the one millionth time.
Sit outside and watch the sunset.
Wear your favorite shirt to the park, even if it might get dirty.
Don’t say maybe.
Pull out the “dry clean only” skirt that you love but haven’t worn since snot and mashed graham crackers became a regular part of your Sunday attire.
Put some candles on the table…just for fun.
Put your phone away, turn off the computer, and have a real conversation with somebody that you love.
Take the kids to the library to pick some new books instead of renewing the old ones for the fourth time in a row.
Call up that person whom you haven’t spoken to in years because of past offenses, and try to make things right.
Invite some friends over for ice cream, even if your house is not spotless.
Make time in your busy schedule to do something that you love, and do not feel guilty about it.
Call your parents…just because.
And for goodness sake…pull out that china!
Today is going to be a good day!