Anyone my age remembers a time when you had your “Sunday” clothes, your “Holiday” clothes, and your “good shoes.” I will bet you also remember dishes in the house that were only for company or holidays or the myriad of other things that your parents designated to be used only on “Special Occasions.” The chairs were covered in plastic that was only removed when company came. Your hair was in rollers around your family but combed out when company came or when you left the house. You have to smile when you think of it. If you were like me, funds were short when you were being raised and things had to last for a long time. Your parents worked hard to get nice things for you and the house and wanted to protect those things. No matter how much you cried or threw a tantrum, those “special” things remained special.
As I got older, I realized that you have to treat yourself as special all the time. Each day was a special day just for the fact that you woke up and took a breath. I had clothes, jewelry, dishes, etc., that were gathering dust waiting for that “special” day to arrive and then one day, it hit me. I am special each and every day and I deserve to treat myself that way and be treated that way by others.
When I looked at my china and crystal and other “good” dishes that I owned or looked in my closet at the clothes I held on to for special occasions, I asked myself why could not just drink my juice (non-drinker here) out of a crystal wine glass. I did not have to eat only fast food so that I could escape without anyone realizing that I was alone. I would put on my nice dress and dine in a nice restaurant.
I would come home from work and take out a china plate to eat my dinner. I would even try to make eating on a paper plate “special” by getting a nice brand paper plate. Whatever you do, it is up to you to make it “special”. Joy comes into our lives in ways large and small and it is up to us to grab hold of it or create it so that we are surrounded by things that make us smile each and every day. For it is only when we can make ourselves smile, that we can make others smile as well.
A few weeks ago, I took my 82 year-old mother out shopping for new clothes. We had so much fun! During one of our conversations about two weeks after that, I asked her if she had worn any of her new clothes yet. Her reply was that she was saving them for a “special event” that was coming up. I guess she did not want to touch anything until she knew exactly what she was going to wear to the “special event.” I let that one pass. A week or two later, she told me she was dressed and going out to lunch with my sister and her friends. I inquired again if she was wearing one of her new outfits and again she responded that she was saving them for a “special event.” This time I said to her “Mom, you are very special and each and every day is special because of you so you should wear your special clothes on this very beautiful day.” Later that evening she called me back and I could again hear the smile on her face when she said “You know, I thought about what you said and after we talked, I am wearing my new sweater and pants.”