I would rather not admit it, but I might be just a bit of a hoarder. Now, do not take that the wrong way—it is not like I have paths carved out throughout our home, stacks of junk filling every nook and cranny. No, not that. In fact, I try to keep a fairly tidy home, and, if I am expecting you, you would likely focus more on my OCD tendencies of wanting everything to look picture-perfect for company. But I am sentimental, and I have piles of my children's artwork, photos from over the years, old journals, and even baby clothes of which I cannot seem to part. I just do a good job of hiding those piles behind closed doors (wink, wink). And I suppose a lot of this started as a child, although back then I found it more difficult to use things. I have very vivid memories of collecting items, such as those little, restaurant-style packets of jellies, and then never really wanting to pull back that crinkly foil seal to actually use the sweet, fruity jam.
And I did the same thing with soaps. I had quite the collection in a small basket in my childhood bathroom...and all that collection ever did was collect dust. I had soaps of all colors; soaps from hotel bathrooms; fancy, handmade soaps; soaps in the shapes of mermaids and seashells, teddy bears and hearts. They were lovely, and yet I believe they sat in that basket until they were tossed during the packing stages of a move, as I had grown older and was beyond the stage of desiring the continuation of the collection, and the soaps themselves were sad-looking and ugly, with dirt and dust collected in their crevices, their colors faded with the lapse of time.
As I have aged, I have embraced more the idea of using the things you have. This encompasses many areas of my life, including food and wine, clothing, art supplies, and health and beauty products. I have learned to find extreme joy in using that olive oil I brought home from Italy, and drinking the fine wines. I let my children have at it in the art room. I wear my nicer clothes, sometimes even on non-fancy days. I use that facial mask free sample I received because what good does it do my face if it just sits in my bathroom cabinet? And I enjoy nice, sudsy bubble baths and lather-rich showers. Now I use the soap.
These nice things in life mean nothing if they just sit on a shelf or in a closet and never find use. This is a philosophy I do need to continue to remind myself, but I find that when I embrace it, it is a very freeing mindset. Now, when I eat an amazing meal and drink amazing wine, it becomes an experience, and one that lives on as a memory inside of me as I move on to finding the next culinary adventure. My clothes might become stained or worn out, but that is okay! Those stains and that wear are a reminder of what life is all about—the living of it. Colored pencils become dull, paint dries out, and crayons become little stubs of colored wax, but the artwork that is created from the use of these things (and from the mess that abounds as a result of the use of these things) is priceless, and gives back in ways that are forever treasured in our hearts. And after living a super full, down-and-dirty, amazingly enriching day, what could be better than relaxing in the privilege of warm water and lovely, handmade bath and shower products?
So use that soap, my friends. They are as good for your mind and soul as they are for the health and beauty of your skin. Embrace all that this life has to offer to you, hold the good and the true close to your heart, and wash off the rest with some silky, indulgent suds. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.