Thursday, May 9, 2013


I'm a teacher. It goes with out saying I have candles. Why? When it's time to give a teacher a present, what is the 'go-to' gift? A candle.

I have jar candles of all sizes, votives, tapers, shaped, novelty -  every color and scent imaginable. In fact, at last count, there are well over a hundred candles in my house right now.

Tucked away in drawers. Just about every one of them. Except for the few that sit out getting dusty.

Why do they sit?

Because I don't burn candles.

Do I not burn them because I don't like them? Actually, just the opposite. I LOVE candles. I love the flickering flame, the gentle glow, the subtle smells...I adore walking into a dim room lit only by the warmth and richness of a candle. It makes me smile. Every single time.

I don't burn them, because I don't want to waste them.

What happens to candles left unburned? Eventually they lose their smell, their color, and fade into a dull lump with a wick. Of little use or interest to anyone.

Wait...What was my goal again?
I. Don't. Want. To. Waste. Them.

As if burning them in my house, for my pleasure, is a waste.

This truth hit me hard recently as I looked at 5 candles in tall glass votives on a sideboard. At one time each candle was a vibrant color with a vivid smell, nestled in a sparking glass, asking to be used, but instead, over time, slowly fading to a non-descript color with only a hint of the original scent, covered in dust.

In saving them, I wasted them.

Now, let's take a deep breath and tuck down a bit further, peel back a couple of layers and see what I'm really saying.

I'm not worth a candle.

The pleasure of enlightening my senses, of bringing a smile to my face, of feeling the comfort - all for me? No, I'm just not worth it.

But I am. I'm worth a candle, and so much more.

This is what my sideboard looks like right now.

Candles, lit and in use, not for anyone else, but for me. For no other reason than it makes me smile.

What do you save for company only? Is there something that you only pull out for 'special' that sits in a drawer or a closet that you wish you could use more often? I challenge you to use it for you, not for company, but for the best person in your life - you.

You are worth that, and so much more.

Thoughts to take with me today: Light a candle, feel the love, and smile.


  1. Great post, and great message! This reminds me so much of the essay Erma Bombeck wrote after she learned she had cancer, when she talked about all the things she would have done if she'd had a chance to do things over again. Among them were 'use the good china, silver, tablecloths' - all those things we keep for 'special.' Funny, I just read a post somewhere else that was talking along the lines of 'I'll be happy when....' - I suppose using the candles is the same idea. Do it now. Enjoy now. Be happy now. That's all we really have. Struggling to do this as I wrestle with the real estate headache here in Seoul - it's consuming all my waking thoughts. I think I'll go light a candle and think about something else for a while!

  2. Another tip along the same lines; USE YOUR CHINA. At least once a week (Saturdays? Sundays?) :)

    and hi! Found your blog from the Monday bloggie link!

  3. Dont lite the candles during the hard times. Only the good.

  4. I used to get so aggravated with my mother for "saving" things like this. I couldn't understand her thinking until my best friend gave me a bottle of really luxurious (and expensive) lotion - I only used it on "special occasions" (read: I thought it was too fancy for someone like me to use as an everyday lotion). One day my friend got really upset with me because she thought I didn't use it because I didn't like it - it dawned on me then that if I really loved it, I was worthy of using it - why not use it every day? Since then, I don't save things - I use them up, because like you said, I am worth it. :)