пʼятниця, 19 серпня 2016 р.

#45daysofblogging 02: using the best things you have

Day 2 - August 19

Welcome to the chatty day 2!

Today’s post was supposed to be dedicated to the one-day trip to Helsingborg that I’ve mentioned yesterday. But this morning, as I was making my breakfast, an unopened pack of coffee made me think about another topic I really want to address. So there’s a slight change of plans (I promise, I will explain the coffee later).


As my blog is dedicated not only to travels or fashion, I’ve wrote quite a few pieces on minimalism before. To me using your best things is one of the key ideas of minimalism and happier life.

When I was about 8 years old, my mom bought me a pair of cobalt blue sandals, just before the summer vacation. We went to our summer house for three months, and on one of the first days I put the sandals on. They were so beautiful and colorful I just couldn’t stop looking at my feet as I was walking out of the house. But as soon as my parents saw me, I was sent to change the shoes – the sandals were for my back to school outfit, we took them with us by accident, I should have saved them for a more appropriate occasion, etc.

Can you guess what happened to the sandals by the time the new school year started? Of course, my feet have grown and the sandals became way too small. In the end I never had a chance to wear them. I still remember them though, till this day, as the symbol of being way to protective over material things and, to some point, of not treating yourself well.

This story made want to appreciate the good things while they are actually available since the very young age. For years I believed that I’ve got so advanced in this I will never save a dress for the special occasion as many generation of people in my country were forced to. But…

The second story happened when I was living in Bangkok. One of the days I went to Big C to buy croissants (yes, I know) and accidentally found a perfect white T-shirt. I cannot even explain how great it was – the cut, the V-neck, not too loose and not too clingy, not too sheer and not to thick. To put it in one word – just perfect. I bought it, but for the rest of my stay in Bangkok wore it maybe two times. Back home in Kyiv the T-shirt went into the closet and was enjoying the premium storage space for 9 month (!) without ever seeing the light of day. I was so scared to stain it with sunscreen or make up, I was protecting it as a precious stone, because I felt like it’s always so difficult to find the basics that are just perfect.

The T-shirt went with me to Italy. Two month into my volunteering program I was invited for a dinner at my friend’s place. I decided that this occasion is worth the perfect tee’s presence and took it out onto the light. What did I see? Right, a bunch of mysterious spots that came from nowhere and didn’t go away even after the third wash. Instead of enjoying the piece of clothing I really loved I just stored it until it became destroyed by some mysterious power.

Mind that the second situation happened when I already considered myself a minimalist, was enjoying a limited amount of things I got to bring with me to Palermo and tried to get as many combinations out of my tiny wardrobe as possible. This actually showed to me that hoarding habits are not going away easily – to have a minimalistic and happy life you need to work every day.

It’s not just about using the things that you have, not being wasteful or overshop. It’s about treating yourself to nice things every day, because we all deserve them. Not to save your best shoes/jeans/body lotion/parfume/diary/plates for a special occasion, but to enjoy good things every day, in every way. This is what helps us to have a more mindful and happy life. To continue with clothing examples, if I have a favorite boots or a favorite pair of glasses, I usually enjoy wearing them so much I don’t even look at anything else. As you saw in My trusty WEARdrobe post, I only have one pair of sunglasses – and I absolutely love them for many years.

I want to quote one of my mom’s favorite French movies Belle Maman. The ice-cream dialogue between Antoine and Lea was actually one of the most life-changing for me. He orders two scoops of ice-cream – if I’m not mistaken, pistachio and chocolate – and start with the pistachio one. She asks him which one he likes better, and Antoine says: “Chocolate”. Then she asks him why he started with the flavor he doesn’t like that much. “Because I prefer to leave the best for the last”. “But what if you will die between pistachio and chocolate? Wouldn’t it be horrible to die with the taste of the ice-cream you don’t like in your mouth?”. To me these are the ultimate words of wisdom on how to enjoy the life and live it to the fullest.

* Book recs - I was actually very happy to see the same idea in many books on minimalism – in Lessons from Madame Chick, for example, or in The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. BTW, both are a big rec from me, even if I’m not agreeing with some things in the first one.

So what happened with a pack of coffee? I had a pack of coffee in my fridge. This coffee is quiet cheaper than my favorite one, but also tastes noticeably worse. I bought it some time ago and already started the pack. But a few days ago I scored a great deal – 6 packs of my favorite coffee for the price of a much cheaper brand. I brought them home, put them in my pantry and… continued drinking the cheaper coffee. Until this morning, when I was washing my caffettiera and had a flash back of the ice-cream dialogue from “Belle Maman”. Needless to say that I immediately opened a pack of the better coffee, made myself a cup and had a great breakfast on my balcony. This whole story might seem very petty and silly, but I think we all become like this from time to time. And it’s so important to remember – we deserve the best treatment, every day.

I will leave you on this note and return to my studying. See you tomorrow, guys!

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