Everyday Should have a little Lagniappe

This morning I put whipped cream on top of my coffee. I figure if I get it when I go out for coffee, why would I deny myself if it’s already in the fridge at home? It made me wonder why I so seldom indulge in the little luxuries of my life. Even making my coffee a little extra special, shouldn’t be so extra. Should it?

Lagniappe is a word used mostly in Southern Louisiana meaning, a little extra. It’s something special or unexpected.

In our first house, we had a living room and a den. The living room had the new furniture, and the den had Brian’s bachelor days stuff. We hardly ever sat on the new couches. It felt off limits for whatever reason. Now, that living room furniture is our only seating. We will probably have it until it falls apart at the seams. We find it to be so comfortable. I feel like I missed out on a couple years of great seating by simply trying to keep it looking new. Feet were definitely prohibited. I remember thinking my head would explode when someone would come over and prop their feet up on our coffee table. It seriously put a damper on our visit. But I discovered a few years ago – our coffee table made a great footrest. (I really have changed a lot over the years!)

Now, I look around at other things and wonder, why do we not use that more often? why is this a habit? why do we have special occasion stuff? Isn’t life an occasion? Shouldn’t we enjoy the stuff we have? It is after all, just stuff.

I have lots of shoes. I have had a love of high heels for umpteen years. Last week, I put on one of my best pairs – sparkles & all – with a pair of jeans. It felt so good. Like a little extra. No one paid any attention, but I felt good. Isn’t that what matters?

For a few years, we have had these velvet euro-size pillows, among others, on our bed. Every night I place them on the floor, crawl in, and lean up against my thin bedpillow and the headboard. For five years, I have avoided so much as touching the big pillow shams wrong. Because, you wouldn’t want to mess up the velvet, right? Well, I wouldn’t want to. But a few weeks ago, in a moment of not thinking, I laid back on our velvet comforter, and against the velvet pillow shams.

Holy cow. I thought I was on vacation or something. Then I realized what I was doing, scrambled off the bed and looked at the pillows. I stood there and thought, “What is my problem? I’ve got 75 bucks wrapped up in these stupid pillow shams from 5 years ago, and you’d think Martha Stewart were going to inspect them or something the way I try to keep them looking just right. They’ve become more of a pain the butt than something I enjoy.” I decided to be a rebel and lay back on them. Those pillows are comfortable! And they are the perfect height behind my head when sit in bed and read. I never knew! I know, I know, I’m such a rebel.

Now, there’s a great deal to be said for taking care of your things and being smart about consumption. We got into a heap of debt by splurging on ourselves back in the day. (oh yeah, those darn pillow shams!) I’m realizing there are things around me that I wait to use and hold off on for special occasions. But home is meant to be enjoyed. Not put on display. It should be lived in. Loved well. Every day is special, and life is fleeting. I want my kids and my husband to enjoy the heck out of being home and know that they are special there and valued and no thing is too good to be used or enjoyed by them.

It isn’t about splurging on buying new things. It’s using the special dishes, the candles you haven’t lit in a few months or years, and the good glasses because you think the drink looks and tastes better in them. It could be using the good towels for everyday rather than letting them collect dust on the display bar or wearing a favorite dress more often, even just to go to the grocery store and run errands (but don’t expect to see me in the strapless at Publix). I’ve been busy framing my favorite pictures and surrounding myself with them in every room. I seem to think a framed picture is a thoughtful one. And I play music in the house a lot. I think we smile, dance and laugh a little more when we do. And that just makes for a happier bunch of people under my roof.

If you’ve made it to the end of this post, I challenge you to find something ‘special’ in your life, and start using it more often. It might feel a little weird at first, but just chill out. Its only stuff. Everyday is worth making a little extra special. This is not about entitlement. It has absolutely nothing to do with your income. Its about your quality of life and putting a little lagniappe in it.

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~ by hthr on September 7, 2007.

3 Responses to “Everyday Should have a little Lagniappe”

  1. i totally agree and have been making a point to do this in my everyday life. dang it, we’re awesome and each day is a special gift, so why not make the most of it? 🙂

  2. I came to a very similar conclusion a couple of years ago when I realized that we had two rooms — TWO ROOMS — in our house that we never used. The dining room, because we have a huge island in the kitchen, and we prefer to eat there. It’s cozier. And what we called the “fireplace” room, we used only at Christmas, when we, umm, made a few fires. So we’ve been gradually changing up those rooms, trying to make them more functional.

    It’s true — we only have only this life to live. Why not live it?

  3. scratch an “only,” whichever one you like. 😉

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