Lately I’ve been sharing about the (sometimes painful) topic of downsizing, whether planned downsizing with aging parents or the forced downsizing that follows a person’s passing.

It’s a topic that’s close to home for me…

I was 24 when my brothers, sisters, and I were (somewhat unexpectedly…for me anyway) tasked with clearing out my parents’ home. My mom and dad both died in 1998, seven months apart.  They were young (66 and 67, respectively).

The good news was they had a bunch of kids and we were able to go through the process together.  I’m not saying it was a picnic, but I’m grateful we had each other.

One very vivid memory I have from that time was sitting in the hallway with my sisters, going through the linen closet.  My mom was exceedingly organized, and many of the items in that closet were in the original boxes and labeled.  Many were actually wedding gifts, so the labels referenced who gave them the gift.

My heart broke in half when I saw that from what I could tell, many were never used…

The conclusion that I drew from the fact that a lot of the beautiful linen napkins, tablecloths, handkerchiefs, doilies, and other classic pieces were never used was that my mom was saving them for “someday special”.

Sometimes, in our fear of staining linen or breaking crystal or china, we let these things take up space in our lives without ever enjoying them. We wait for “someday special” not realizing that today is a gift and tomorrow is never guaranteed.

TODAY is “someday special”…

I wish my mom and sisters and I could’ve had tea together using the beautiful napkins that were in the linen closet. Maybe it would’ve prompted a conversation about my parents’ wedding day on January 9, 1954, something I don’t recall ever talking to her much about.

I wish we would’ve used the family china and crystal more.  Now I can be clumsy, and there’s a good chance that I may have broken some of it, but at least it would’ve been in the process of enjoying it.

Why not make today the day you get started towards those goals?

  • Is there “stuff” you’re saving that you want to start using?
  • Is there “stuff” in your life that you don’t use and would like to discard?
  • Are there people in your life that you want to spend more time with?

My mom and dad on a trip to Tahiti in the late 80s or early 90s