Use the Good Hand Cream
June 2020

I have a good relationship with my mom. I look to her for advice, we laugh, and have many shared jokes, even though she sometimes drives me a little nuts. Lately, I’ve been pondering a piece of advice she’s imparted to me throughout my life, which is to “use the good stuff.” To give you some context, this advice usually pops up when we are talking about dishes and glassware, but it can apply to many other situations.

I come from a long line of “savers:” post-depression era relatives and post-war grandparents who saved things “just in case.” It’s a running joke in my family that we are all one step away from being hoarders. (We can laugh about it, so you can too!). But the downside of this mindset— a scarcity mindset—is that we don’t fully enjoy things that we have because we are saving them for an unknown time in the future, when we feel it will finally be time to enjoy them. So, along came my mom, who has sorted through her fair share of relatives’ saved items after they are gone, with her wise advice – “Caroline, let’s use the good dishes; break out the nice glasses. Let’s use the special silverware.”

This unprecedented health crisis has afforded me some time and space to reflect on the many facets of self-, family-, and other loved one- care. How many of us have been given some luxury hand cream as a gift, but we put it in a drawer, thinking “I’ll save that for later?” Do we ever truly consider when the right time would be to use the items we save? How many times have I cleaned out a drawer, in an attempt to overcome my genetic hoarder tendencies, and discovered that the thing I had been saving has gone bad? Let me tell you, I’ve missed opportunities to indulge in some delicious gourmet chocolate. Right now is a great time to pull out that fancy hand cream, slather on as much as you feel like, and rejoice in the ability to take care of yourself for a moment. Use a china cup for your coffee or tea; pull out that fancy wine glass for your beverage of choice. Take a moment to savor something you’ve been holding on to, as a form of self-care, and self-love.

Will I be hauling out the china dishes for Friday night dinner? Probably not. But I’m most definitely using my L’Occitane cherry blossom hand cream.