In early December 2004, I gave birth to my first child, my little Luke. While it was one of the greatest blessings of my life, the not so great blessing that came along with it was all the weight I had gained. Sheesh people, I did some damage. That being said, I came up with a fantastic way to take those pounds off.
About a month after Luke was born, my brother had run a half marathon down in Disney World. Now mind you, though I was an avid runner, at that point I had never run more than four miles. And the four only happened because I made a wrong turn one day and got a little lost. However, I was inspired by my big bro. Not only did I have a goal weight to shoot for, but the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow would entail a trip to Disney with my family. Sign me up!
Ultimately, Paul trained too and we then enlisted my parents to come down with us to watch Luke, so we could both run. Needless to say, mission accomplished! And what were the fruits of this awesome labor? I set and accomplished an amazing goal for myself, the baby weight came off, I got to run through Cinderella’s castle with a bunch of other stoked runners while screaming my head off with joy, I had a super fun trip with my family I will always cherish…oh, and I got these babies.
Let me introduce you to my Disney mugs. I have been drinking my coffee out of these beauties almost every morning since that race in 2006. I cannot even tell you how much these mugs make my heart sing. Every time I use one I am reminded of that glorious day, our trip, my little peanut of a boy, and the fact that I can do anything I set my mind to.
So what’s my message here? A mug makes a good souvenir? Well, sometimes, yes. And it is good to bring home something functional from a trip that you know will make you happy and help you remember your awesome vacation. But that little tidbit is secondary to the question, what happens when you walk into TJ Maxx and you can’t take your eyes off this? Cue evil take over music.
Yes, as I was meandering the aisles of TJ Maxx, pre-Covid, I could not take my eyes off this beautiful turquoise mug. The picture doesn’t do it justice. The color and shimmer remind me of a mermaid’s tail and the rounded bottom with tapered top is my favorite shape. All that beauty for a mere $3.99. Most people would have no problem adding to their mug collection, but as a person who likes to live simply and within her physical and monetary needs, I technically didn’t need it. I already had enough mugs in my cabinet and favorites, at that! What’s a girl to do?
First, I employed one of my best shopping tactics. Walk away from the impulse item and get what I came in for. If the object is still on my brain, then I head back to it to see if I still want it. Most of the time, I never go back and the impulse has passed. This time I headed on back to the mug section and stared at it like a lunatic for a good five minutes before I decided to put one of my other shopping strategies into play. If I am feeling a major need to purchase an item that brings me joy, but I already have enough of said item sitting at home, then one of my home items needs to be passed on in order to make way for the new.
Does this mean pass on one of my Disney mugs? Gasp! Of course not. But, I did have one mug that the kids had gotten as a gift and could be passed on. Yes! A new mug was coming home with me.
Needless to say, the next time I went back to visit good ol’ TJ, these other colored mugs were displayed. A set! Yes, I had to have them so all four of us could have matching mugs on cocoa night. You know, it’s the little things.
That means I needed to pass along some other mugs I already had. I also put a few of the mugs I already owned high up in my cabinet storage area. These were smaller ones that could be used when I host one of my coffee clutches and currently didn’t need to take up functional space.
Am I delighted by my new purchases? For sure, yes. Do I still use my Disney mugs at times? That’s another affirmative. Are my cabinets being overrun by unnecessary clutter? No. I manage the clutter by once again, getting rid of what is no longer needed or wanted and also by storing what will someday serve a function. What my cabinets are full of are items that make my heart sing every time I use them.
We are no longer meandering around stores during Covid times, though some online shopping might be going on. And whether we have new things coming in or not, I know that many of us have been using this time at home to declutter, organize and make our spaces more functional. And you know, whenever I talk about “outside stuff” I often think of the things going on inside.
You don’t need me to say what we are hearing and experiencing everyday, but our lives have changed drastically over these past few months. What are some things, and by “things” I mean practices, mindsets, and activities, you are noticing you no longer need and can do without? You know, those tasks you thought you HAD TO have in your life that you are finding, hey, I really did not need that to be part of my day. Perhaps that’s something that will remain eliminated and lead to a calmer, peaceful, more joyful you.
Some tasks and mindsets are simply put on that top shelf, being stored, waiting for the day they can be put back into rotation…parties with friends, live-and-in-person yoga classes, my kids’ sports games. I can’t wait for these to happen again.
There are some new things, I’m sure, that you have discovered you really love doing. Perhaps some puzzles with the fam squad, walks outside, dare I say, meditation? These are the mermaid mugs of life, the newfound joys you now have room for.
And then there will be the items, tasks and beliefs that have always stayed and always brought joy. These are the things you’ve figured out how to modify or maybe never had to give them up in the first place. These are the Disney mugs of life. May they continue to make your heart sing.