If there’s one thing the internet has taught us, it is this – there’s always something newer, prettier and more fun coming around the corner. So, we snap up goodies we have our eye on now, but instead of enjoying them, we tuck them away in our drawers and crane our necks, peering into the distance, wondering if there might be something better out there to come.
Or we buy something expensive, or exclusive, and we hug it to ourself and say “I’ll keep it for a special occasion” as we gaze lovingly at it.
This was me. But it’s now 2019 and I have a new life mantra to live by.
I’ve stopped making resolutions for many years. Time was I’d have a list of resolutions which I’d promptly break before January is out. Then, I started making just the one, hoping to stick to it…. till June at least LOL! 😛
In recent years however, I prefer not to make a resolution, which is really just a wish to better yourself, but to pick a mantra to live the year by.
In 2016, I sought to live each day like it was the first day of the rest of my life. It didn’t quite work out the way I planned, but it did help put me in a more positive state of mind.
In 2017, I suggested that we take a leaf out of the beauty world, and sample before committing ourselves wholesale into a new venture. That worked somewhat for me. I dipped my toes into a few new ventures and challenges, and found that some worked, and some didn’t.
In 2018, I sought to slow down. This one worked quite well for me, and in some ways, has helped me evolve into a better, more tolerant person. For someone who used to fly off the handle at any opportunity, it was a big improvement. It doesn’t make me a doormat, but it made me think better about my actions and inactions and their consequences, before striking. I will be carrying this forward through to this year as well, because it worked so well for me.
This year, 2019, my new life mantra is simple – Use it or lose it.
For 2019, my new life mantra is this:
“Use it or lose it”.
Simply put, I’m tired of hoarding and of accumulating things, and of saying yes when I mean no.
I shared a tip recently on how to declutter your life, that basically starts with one single step. Now, I’m taking it one step further.
Like most of you, I have nice things, and I accumulate nice things. A pretty new palette or embossed blush pops up, and I’m busy clicking “BUY IT NOW” on an online store. A new skincare product catches my eye, and I’m all “BUY NOW!”
Then, I receive it, and paw at it and hiss “My preciousssss…..” and then I tell myself, “I’ll save this for a special occasion!” and I tuck it away in a drawer or cupboard. And the cycle begins again.
Now, tell me that you aren’t the same – don’t lie to yourself 😛
Have you ever thought that that “special occasion” might be today? Or that you don’t have to wait for a special occasion to use or even wear something pretty – every day is that “special occasion”! Or perhaps you experience FOMO – Fear Of Missing Out, as you desperately hoard everything shiny and new?
I acknowledge that the fact of my blog’s existence, runs counter to my argument to live in and enjoy the moment. Often, I am pressured to tell you about what’s new, or upcoming, or to tell you about what a wonderful deal that makeup or skincare set is, so buy before it’s gone!
Long-time readers might have noticed that this has no longer been the norm for me. A few years into blogging, I chose to step away from chasing all that’s new and shiny and glittery, and to actively stop asking people to buy stuff. I’m happy if you see something I talk about, and like it enough to buy it or try it. But I don’t want to be that blog with the gift guides, and the lists of things you should buy, and the listicles telling you about all that’s bright and shiny and new.
More importantly, I don’t want to be that blog with the endless push to “Buy it now!”
Instead, I’d like for you to hit that pause button for a while and take a good look around what you already own.
Go on, I’ll wait. Oh you’re at work? Oops! (Don’t let your boss catch you 😛 )
Are you using everything you already own? Do you feel that you can’t bring yourself to use a product, because it will spoil its beauty? Do you put aside masks and skin treats for “a special occasion”? And more importantly, how often does that “special occasion” come around?
I speak from experience, as I’ve been round the block. I’ve squirreled away high-end product samples ostensibly to use for that “special occasion”, only to forget about them when the time comes. Or perhaps that “special occasion” is derailed, for whatever reason, and you don’t have the mood to celebrate.
TRIVIA: I’ve since learnt that squirrels sometimes forget where they bury their nuts and seeds, and these nuts and seeds then grow into trees. But unlike a squirrel, my products won’t beget others, they will only expire 😛
I’ve also bought makeup in pretty packaging, with beautiful embossing and designs, and have been loathe to use them, because using it will spoil how it looks. So, I tuck them away in a deep, dark drawer, and I eventually forget about them until I spring-clean one day and rediscover them.
Then I cringe a little, because I’d spent so much time, energy and money hunting down these exclusive beauties…. only to have them sit in a deep, dark drawer, gathering dust. Unloved and unused.
I have one piece of advise – Don’t be like me. In fact, this year, I will not be like me LOL! Instead be like my 2019 me.
Live in the moment.
Use what you buy and own right NOW, instead of hoarding and experiencing FOMO thinking of what will come.
If you have been given a sample of a high-end or luxury product, don’t hoard it. Go home, break it out and use it. Few samples will transform your skin overnight, like the wave of a fairy godmother’s wand. So, live free in the knowledge that if nothing else, you’ve just turned your rather mundane day into a special occasion! 🙂
If you’ve bought a makeup item in beautiful packaging or with an intricate design, admire it. Take your photos for a keepsake – post it on Instagram if it makes you happy.
And then, use it.
I always maintain that makeup is best enjoyed when used because that’s what it’s meant to be – face paint. Granted, that pretty packaging or design might please the eye, but unless you display it like a piece of art, it doesn’t serve much more purpose than a piece of tissue paper.
Applying this “Use it or lose it” mentality to life, here’s how I’m approaching my 2019.
If I feel like it, I’ll wear something nice even if the occasion may not call for it. I’ll have a good meal, even if there’s no reason to celebrate. I’ll shop in my closet and stash, and if it’s not something I’d use or wear, out it goes.
I realize that because I blog, I will have the opportunity to try many new things. But I will also adopt the policy, as I have in recent years, that if it’s something I’m not interested in (therefore will not use), I will not accept it (therefore I lose it). While I know this will cost me, it allows me to remain sane and not get overwhelmed.
If I’m not interested in attending a meeting or doing something because it is a waste of time or will not concern me, I will not waste my time doing it. I will do the minimum to maintain my obligations, but on a personal front, if it’s not something I find useful, that’s a strike against it.
It may sound harsh and even a little clinical. While you can pigeonhole products and things, how do you pigeonhole people and life? Well, you cannot, but you can use a minute or two to think about your own peace of mind and happiness.
And really, that’s what I’m aiming for – a neater environment and a less cluttered mind, ultimately leading to a happier me 🙂
We’ll have to wait till 31 December 2019 to see how this pans out. For starters, I’ll have to stop visiting Uniqlo and browsing my regular beauty websites! Now, that’ll be a wrench LOL! 😀
Do you have a life mantra to live by?
Might you like to adopt mine? 😀