I was sat on the toilet with the latest supply of 3 ply in my hands and thinking this is not the best I have used. In those moments, I was missing the softness of a certain 4 ply, which was currently not only in short supply, but only available in a supermarket out of my allowable driving scope.
However, sat next to me in the wicker basket was six of the finest rolls, hidden from Angel Dog who often likes to destroy paper articles, for reasons only known to her. It was in those moments that I realised that I was indeed saving said loo rolls for best. When would be the best time to use them was unclear. All I knew was I was not going to use them until I could buy more.
In what can you say yes to I wrote about some jewellery that I had recently decided to wear. It had been a gift some twenty years ago. I had the necklace, – white gold intertwined hearts for my birthday and the bracelet for Christmas. It was exquisite, and I was delighted. My partner had purchased them in Las Vegas. Apparently, he had fretted the whole trip about buying just the right present for me. In twenty years, I must have worn them five times.
The trouble was I had been taught to save the best for the best occasions. I admit I wasn’t really sure what that meant, but I did it anyway.
I used to have suits, blouses, shoes and bags that were just for work. There was no way I’d wear my best to work. Although they were lovely things, they were not the best that I owned. Then I had stuff to wear around the house, stuff for going to pubs and clubs and then I had my best for, you know, special occasions.
Special occasions rarely came, and if they did, I would buy something for them and leave the best stuff for an erm special occasion. The charity shops must have loved me, because when these things went out of fashion – hardly worn – that’s where they went.
When I left the last husband (you know the one of the double life), I travelled lightly, only taking precious things, my two dogs, tech, books, sewing machine, pictures, cocktail frocks, jewellery, lovely shoes, bags and my everyday stuff. I didn’t need much. In fact, the charity shop did rather well again.
Another item I took with me was a gorgeous amethyst and peridot necklace. This I purchased more than twenty years ago. I had been at a wedding fayre as an exhibitor, and I spotted this creation. It had to be mine. One day I would get married again and wear it. So I paid £100, which was a lot back then for me and stored it away for that day.
The day did arrive – 2012 – my birthday. I married the man of the double life, resplendent in a gorgeous purple frock and my necklace. I had saved it for the best day of my life. Only it wasn’t. It was pretty awful.
When lockdown arrived, I decided that life was too short to keep things for the best moment, because today is always the best day. Today I am wearing my love heart jewels. There is nowhere to go, and no one to see. Just me, the dogs, hills and wildflowers. It just feels the perfect time and place.
The other necklace will be coming out soon, and I know just the right frock to wear it with. Look out for me on video, it is sure to make an appearance.
Let me ask you, be honest, do you save the best for best, whatever best is? Do you even know why?
What about your food, do you leave the delicious roast potatoes to last with an extra bit of gravy? I do, I scoop the potato out and mash it with said gravy, and then I eat the skin last. I have tried honestly (I have) to not do this, but, well, you know it’s ingrained.
Is saving the best for last a condition or a syndrome?
- Is it about scarcity or hoarding? Do you keep things just in case?
- What about the fear of loss? If it breaks then it’s gone forever!
- Perfectionism? I’ll save my best ideas for last – the trouble is the passion will go – doh!
- Future focusing? I’ll do my best stuff when I am able to…
- Idea drain? All of your best ideas will be gone and then what will you do?
What if you embraced your best self, enjoyed your best stuff now, went with your best ideas, and just trusted that today is your best day to be your best self, using your best stuff?
What if you did?
Perhaps none of it matters, as long as you think about the best stuff you are hoarding and just ask yourself, could you say yes to using and enjoying your best things today? Go on, I dare you!
Questions for your best self to answer
- Who am I when I am my best self?
- What am I keeping for best and why?
- What if I used my best stuff today – how would that feel?
For other intriguing questions and musings join The Journaling Club – where you will get a monthly journaling book (PDF) and exercises to keep you motivated. This month is all about saying yes and starting a gratitude practice.