Last week my three-year-old proudly showed me the new socks he’d worn to bed the night before. Grey and red pirate socks, they are one pair of a two-pack we bought the previous day at the mall. The other new pair is a grey and red plaid Christmas pattern, and has more of a ‘dressy’ look to it.
“Daddy wouldn’t let me wear the Christmas socks to bed, he said they were too dressy,” my son told me. Now this isn’t meant to call out my husband and his parenting choices, as he is an incredible father and amazes me daily with his patience and kindness; but rather, this conversation made me pause and take a look at my own arbitrary rules and standards. I have heard myself say things like “put that shirt back in your closet, it’s for special occasions” or “don’t use the sparkly stickers, we’ll save those”. Save them for what? For a day other than today? Why not bring simple pleasures into our day to day life? And what better way to bring bits of effortless joy and innocent happiness than using nice shirts, sparkly stickers, and dress socks.
So use your china for pizza night. Use your good conditioner daily. Take the cushion covers off your sofa and the protective liners off your car’s floor mats. Eat the richest cheesecake. Grind the best coffee beans. Open the good beer.
Don’t make home improvements to your house so you can sell it, but make home improvements so you can enjoy it. Use your finest napkins. Wear your softest sweater. Pull out your best duvet. Throw on your new running shoes. Write on your fancy stationary with your special pen.
And that bottle of red wine that you’ve been saving for a special occasion? Open it tonight and have a glass. Celebrate a Tuesday. Oh, and those new wineglasses in the back of your cupboard? Use them too.
And wear the dress socks.