We receive these gourmet chocolates every year from our good friend, Katherine Artines. It arrives in a specially wrapped box – Eileen and I open the box together. I usually take photos of the process. We are, after all, unwrapping art!
We usually gasp in delight as we look at the delicacies—decorated with stripes, speckles and glazes beyond comprehension.
Eileen: “Can I eat one yet?”
Denise: “No. Not yet. Let me take a couple more photos!”
After I snap a half dozen photos, we agree it’s time to eat.
But first we examine the chocolate manual. Not that we could choose the wrong chocolate—but it’s fun to read the descriptions for each chocolate.
We each enjoy a chocolate and agree to exercise self-control. After all, it’s the Christmas season and we must spread the calories over time! I hid the box on my desk under a pile of papers. I went for lesser grade chocolates to satisfy my need—and opted to save the gourmets for those special moments when I felt I had really ‘earned’ a chocolate.
Well, needless to say, I just couldn’t eat the chocolates. They were too pretty. Too delectable. Too delightful for a mere Denise to enjoy casually on a Tuesday afternoon at work. A Wednesday is too ordinary. Fridays are festive but can I really justify a chocolate? Even Eileen was doing a great job of exercising self-control. I did share a chocolate with my coworker Sam, but not before taking a photo, of course.
Time passed and I was quite pleased with my ability to ration the treasured chocolates. But one day I decided I had earned a chocolate for all my self-control. That’s when I made an important, but sad discovery….
One chocolate was showing signs of loneliness. It had a small crack.
“Our chocolates!”, I gasped.
I examined the others. I reached for a chocolate and saw it was a little delicate to the touch—especially with my office being kept so warm for the winter.
I realized an important lesson that plagues me and might also plague you:
Gifts are meant to be enjoyed! Don’t put them on a shelf to admire them – use them!
This can be directed toward embroidery machines, embroidery designs, fabric and other supplies. All these things should be used and enjoyed. Use that special fabric you purchased. Use those beautiful embroidery designs. Otherwise, you miss an opportunity to find happiness and fulfillment by creating something one-of-a-kind, new and beautiful.
Skills & Talents
And of course, this can be expanded to more than material things. Consider your own talents and skills—these are gifts! Put them to use for the benefit of others as well as yourself! You’ll find that you’ll be happier when you are productively using your talents.
Plus, by taking the approach of using your talents regularly, you are practicing your skills—which over time, will improve! I think you’ll agree— that’s better than hiding your talents and not developing them!
By the end of the year you’ll look back with pride at how well you used your time and gifts.
January is behind us and often by this time, our good intentions of self-improvement for the New Year have gone by the wayside. But don’t lose heart. Try again and keep trying. Start stitching with your embroidery machine. Pick up a new skill by reading Designs in Machine Embroidery, Eileen’s Machine Embroidery Blog or the Designs Plus Newsletter. Gather your inspiration, some determination and begin! (And enjoy some chocolate!)