Use It Up, Wear It Out: why we should quit saving stuff for later

So I bought these charcoal exfoliating wipes at Sephora. They’re really quite fantastic. One side cleans, and the other is all nubbly and exfoliating (thus the name). I’m delighted with them. I’m trying to fade a brown spot on the side of my face, and I think they will speed the process along.

There is only one problem. I used one yesterday. And I used one tonight. And there are only 25 in the package. So there are only 23 left. They will be gone in no time. Getting more will be inconvenient. I might forget, or not do it because, typing tedious info into website, or have an exfoliating emergency and not have one. And then I won’t have one. So I should save them, right? Use them when my face feels really dirty? Or for traveling, when there is no water and I want to wash my face. I could easily use water at home. I should, I shouldn’t waste a whole little cloth on my face every single night if there is water and other cleanser available.

But I like these. And do you know what is in the drawer right underneath them? A different packet of cleansing wipes from Sephora. That dried out. Because I was saving them. (And now I am totally going to just wet them and use them, because waste, right? In fact I should use them instead of the new ones. I should.)

I really like the new ones though.

I think I might be being ridiculous.

I also have this shirt I love and I never wear because it’s getting worn out. I don’t want to waste it. Or that sweatshirt that’s my favorite, that actually looks good, not like a sweatshirt at all? I don’t want to waste that either. I mean, I might stay home all day. Or get it dirty. So I should save it.

And the decent sneakers, I should save those too. Also the nicer sunglasses. I will probably only lose them. And what if I finish all the pages in my sketch pad and can’t find a new one just this size?

What if I wear all my short white socks and then I really need a pair? What if I need nice undies and I wore them all and all that’s left is the ratty ones? What if I use all the ink in my purple pen?

The other day my daughter was using a book light she likes, and then she stopped, and she was sitting in the back of the car not reading and I said, what’s up? And she said, I don’t want to waste the battery.

And I shrieked WASTE THE BATTERY!!!!

Don’t deprive yourself. Use the battery. Wear the shirt. Exfoliate like there is no tomorrow.

And especially, eat the last cookie, because if you don’t, my 16-year-old will come to your house and eat it for you.


Got demanding relatives, pressures from all sides and a list of things to do, bake, buy or decorate so long it won’t fit on your phone screen? Here’s how to quit chasing the festive season you think you should have, and choose instead to love the one you’ve got.

Click here to download the The Happier Parents’ Holiday Survival Guide: Staying Whole When Everyone Wants a Piece of You, and Some of them Bite