I’m forever delighted to discover that as I head into my wisdom years, the long-lasting pleasures of life hail from such little things.
Two weeks ago, as I reached into our silverware drawer for a teaspoon, I noticed that pretty much all of the forks, knives, and spoons looked tarnished and worn. A few years before, I had purchased a variety of antique, silver-plated utensils because they were elegant and beautiful. I added them to several pieces of real silver left to me by a friend who passed in the early nineties.
Although the silverware was clean, I’d never taken the time to polish it because it was beautiful anyway and it didn’t seem to matter. That’s until my assistant, Lisa, went to get herself a spoon one day and commented on how nice the pieces would look if they were cleaned up.
“Why don’t you let me take these home and polish them,” she offered. “I’ll do research online and find the quickest and easiest way to get the job done.”
Being supported by Lisa is like having my own personal Martha Stewart on hand. She has an eye for beauty and loves making order out of chaos. She also delights in making things look good. So I loaded up the silverware into a bag and gave it to her to take home.
Two days later Lisa showed up with the silver wrapped in anti-tarnish paper. As she lifted each piece out of her bag, I was astonished by how beautiful they looked. After filling the drawer back up with my shiny new utensils, I had the experience you have when you’ve cleaned out a closet and you keep going back to look at the space because it feels so good.
We use forks, knives, and spoons nearly every day of our lives. And for the last month, each time I removed a piece from the drawer, I smiled. Sometimes still, I open it just to marvel at how beautiful the pieces are now that they’re polished.
When I was first in training more than twenty years ago, my coach, Thomas Leonard, shared three guidelines for living well:
Keep raising your standards.
Stop tolerating good when you can have great.
Remember that beauty is a necessity, not a luxury.
He insisted that extreme self-care was the secret to a good life. A really good life. “When you take impeccable care of yourself, Cheryl” he declared, “you’ll find that it takes very little to make you happy.”
Who knew polished silverware could make such a difference in my life? Now I hope it makes a difference in your life, too .
PS – Our next retreat is scheduled for October 25th-27th and if you’d like to know when registration opens, put your name on the waitlist here.
PPS – There will be no Facebook Live this week. You can watch past Facebook Live sessions on my YouTube channel at CherylRichardsonTV here.
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