When my beloved died last month, that was the end of our earthly celebrations. There were no more special occasions to bring out our Millennium Series Waterford flutes we’d gotten for our wedding in 2000. I’ve sipped many glasses of champagne in them over our 20+ years of marriage.

And, THANK GOD! Can you imagine if I’d been “saving” them because they’re too valuable or delicate and I didn’t want them to break?

A friend of mine was telling me about her own Waterford crystal stored in the attic. She put it away when her kids were young and running through the house. Now, I get that. I’ve lost some pretty pricey pretties to little ones’ rambunctiousness. But, now my friend’s kids are in college, one of them in graduate school.

I looked at her lowly collection of mismatched TJ Maxx glasses, and I told her, “Life is short. Use the crystal.”

Then, she confesses she also has china stored in the attic. And, I made a dramatic sigh. “I hate to be repetitive, my darling friend, but life is short. Use the china!”

Then, I find out it’s not even fancy, bone china, but very nice everyday dinnerware and I throw up my hands. She’s been using some very old stoneware her MIL gave her so, again, the kids wouldn’t break the good stuff. The kids who are now in college.

The one in graduate school is a self-taught and amazing chef and baker. He makes the most delicious meals and sweets from scratch. Then, serves it to the family on chipped plates.

No, no, no, this won’t do. Now, I’m adamant and exasperated. “Why, friend, are you saving the china and crystal? So, after you and your husband are gone, the kids can open up those boxes and say, ‘What’s this stuff? We never used this.'”

Our plan today is to find her a china cabinet to store her precious pieces so that she CAN use them. No more attic.

Listen, dear reader, if you’re storing your “good stuff,” please ask yourself why. Why are you protecting it? Why is it tucked away in a box? Why aren’t you using it?

Take out the crystal and china this weekend, and make a celebration.

Life is short. You don’t get a second chance.