Some online buddies of mine were discussing the tragedy of relatives who died with pretty candles still unburnt, fancy yarns sealed in bags with the receipts, good china packed away in dust covers, clothes "too nice to wear" in the back of the closet with the tags still on them.
"Things are for use," one of them opined. And that pretty much summed up the position of the group.
Many on this blog have had occasion to quote Sir Terry Pratchett's character Granny Weatherwax that "Sin … is when you treat people as things." And I can't argue with that. But there is also, if not "sin", at least grievous waste when we treat things as something other than, well, things.
There is nothing wrong with planning for the future, or delayed gratification. And of course, there's a big difference between "using" and "abusing" objects; proper maintenance and care will greatly extend the time you can enjoy anything, from a car to a coffeemaker.
Still, "things are for use" is a message I need to remember more, as I look at my life. I have too many treasures, toys, and treats laid up for myself on earth. Maybe I'll take the kids and shoot off that model rocket out behind the elementary school this weekend. Maybe I'll dig my "emergency chocolate" out of the sock drawer, and make brownies tonight. Maybe I'll get great-great Aunt Edith's diamond ring out of the safe deposit box and wear it to work.
Maybe I'll get all of the "good" candles out of storage, and put them on the mantel, and burn them until there's nothing left but puddles of wax and memories of beauty.
What things have you been putting off using?
* (Apologies to Justinian, from whose classic legal compilation, the Institutes, the title was stolen quite out of context.)
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