The magnificent romp



I was sitting in my living room this morning, hoping an idea for a post would come to me and I glanced up to see Fred looking so regal, that I had to share his picture with you. I bought the couch that he is lounging on several years ago, but have been hesitant to use it at home because I didn’t want the cats to scratch it, so it has been covered up and basically useless. Actually, it has been worse than useless because it was also unattractive in its covered up state. I love the look of this couch: the silk fabric, swan-head ends, and the shape is so appealing to me but I was saving it, trying to preserve it, and then the question of why popped into my head last week.

I’ve noticed that I no longer want to save things for some future that I imagine I’ll need them in, and yet there still is a little admonishing voice in the back of my mind telling me that I must be sensible about life. The older I get, the more I can feel a force pushing me away from the edge of fully engaged living to the center where it is safer, more secure, padded, and predictable. When I was younger, I never turned down invitations for fear I’d be tired the next day. When I was younger, I wore all of my favorite clothes and never worried that I’d spill something on them and ruin them. When I was younger, I didn’t worry about our cats scratching the furniture.

As I age, I’ve noticed a tendency in me to try to preserve/save things, and I think this is really just a hidden fear that life is changing….much faster than I ever realized, but I don’t want to hold back anything because of fear anymore. If I spill tea down the front of my favorite cashmere sweater….fine, I’ll donate it to the cats. If my couch gets scratched, I’ll cover it up or re-cover it or leave it and maybe I won’t care.

In the depth of my being I believe that life is meant to be a magnificent romp and how can you romp without getting a little dirty, scratched up or tired? I believe we are supposed to be laughing, playing, and breaking rules about what we should look, act and feel like. Is there something you’ve been saving for a special occasion? Why not wear it, use it, give it away, today.


“Let’s be naughty and save Santa the trip” Gary Allan

23 thoughts on “The magnificent romp

  1. Oh Fred you are one beautiful boy!!! That picture of him is a framer! When my mom died a year and half ago I packed up all her keepsakes and dishes of my grandmothers she never used…the other day I brought out the pretty dishes and put them in my cupboard to use…. if not now…when??? Love to you and yours on upcoming holidays…

  2. A magnificient romp! Whee-ha! That will stay in my mind all day, Mary. Wouldn’t that be a refreshing bumper sticker among all the grumpy statements out there?

  3. My first thought when I saw Fred on that lovely couch was that he looks so regal ~ your exact words as I read your post today!!!
    Your message today reminds me of both sets of grandparents who had plastic covers on their couches. Whatever they were saving them for they never got to enjoy, although when they got rid of them I’m sure the couches looked like they just came off the showroom floor. It also reminds me of friends who have multiple sets of dishes/China and never use any of them, you’re right, what in the world are they saving them for? I imagine I’m guilty of some of the same mistakes, so happy that you always seem to bring things to my attention! Today will be a good day to live life and enjoy myself. Thank you Mary. Love and hugs ❤️❤️❤️

  4. Mary, your comments bring up all kinds of feelings in me….saving for what….I have no control over when I leave this life so why do I worry so much about my old age. But, I do. I know how costly it is to grow old in the style in which I’ve become accustomed all my life. We were raised in a generation to respect people, respect what we had, furniture, clothing, homes, etc. We were raised in a generation to ‘look after’ our ‘things’. Maybe it’s all about ‘saving for a rainy day’, those remarks that were indelibly ingrained in my psyche growing up…and maybe they weren’t such a bad thing…my parents came out of the depression era. If we give ourselves permission to do something contrary to our present thinking, it is releasing…for me, at least but taking that first step…it’s hard.
    SandyP, in Snowy Ontario, Canada

    • Sandy P., you read my mind and put it in your reply. My parents also survived the depression and I grew up with all the background angst of possibly ‘not having enough.’ Those were different days, and they forever marked the people who lived through them, as well as the children those people subsequently raised (me). I, like Mary, find I am starting to pull out things I’ve had packed away for safekeeping. I’m old enough now that I could keel over tomorrow, so why not enjoy that antique tea set? Why not wear my great-grandmother’s ring? Yes…I too find it hard to do, after a life-time of worrying about messing up something precious. But I want to give it all the light of day before I am unable to. It’s a good place to start.

  5. Beautiful, and cheers to Fred. I remember an Erma Bombeck column where she said she wished she had used the good china more and had fires in the fireplace more often rather than worrying about the clean-up. Isn’t it wonderful that we recognize this in ourselves? Today is never too late to be kind to ourselves and others. It looks like Fred would agree.

  6. Absolutely, Mary, and so well written. I am going to start heeding those words as of today. What am I saving anything for? Can’t take it with me and no one wants these “precious” things!!! lol

  7. This is so true for me too. It has also made me think about all the yarn I have gathered over the years and saved, for what… You have confirmed my need to see the beauty in what I have now and to use it up!

  8. Amen! and romp away! I have a few ripped pieces of furniture compliments of my crazy/beloved cat. . love to you, veronica

  9. I bought matching furniture several years ago and still have 7 payments left (interest free). During this time I lost a wonderful cat (that never scratched anything) and acquired a new cat that has pretty much destroyed my new stuff. But I continue to make my payments and be thankful for my Sophie (who actually looks a little like Fred). Wouldn’t trade her for the world. The furniture has yet to cuddle up and purr by my side 😉

  10. I love Fred with all that style. He knew the exact spot for the perfect pose!
    As for furniture, we can replace it but not the cat! Merry Christmas!

  11. “It is not uncommon for people to spend their whole life waiting to start living.” ~ Eckhart Tolle.
    I believe the same holds true for appreciating and embracing our possessions, possibilities and loved ones. Viva the romp!!

  12. Just had a flashback memory, does anyone vaguely recall a television show, probably when we were still all in “rompers”, called Romper Room? I just looked up the word in the word of origins dictionary, I think we are onto something, good!

  13. Yes I DO remember Romper Room! Hadn’t thought of that for years! And this post really resonated with me. I turned 61 this year, had a hip replaced and facing a knee replacement. Suddenly I’ve gotten old, physically and mentally. I walk my dog and look around and wonder where did those years go? I want to save everything and everyone – so many friends and family are facing traumas and sorrows – I want us all to be young again. I want to face the new day with no fear of losing my energy or a friend or family member or my dogs. My “inner child” seems to have gone into hiding and I can’t figure out how to coax her back out to play. This posting will, I think, help me do that. Thank you so much!

    • Patricia, My mother, when she was 79 said to me: “I don’t know who that old lady is looking back at me in the mirror…I feel half that age and in my mind, haven’t gone beyond that”. When she died, I felt like a child going through her dresser, as though I was intruding on her privacy and in a way I was…for there in the bottom drawer lay, carefully wrapped in tissue paper, were the lovely nightgowns she’d been given over the years and other nice pieces of clothing that somehow, she never gave herself permission to wear. Last week, I went through my cupboard and closet and gave away all the clothes I knew I wouldn’t wear again, my city clothes, beaded evening bags, clothing, coffee table books, that will go to my former church in the city to raise money at their rummage sale. I think we find joy in life but in different ways as we age…
      SandyP in Canada

  14. Miss Nancy on Romper Room!!! Oh, yes, I remember. “Be a do-bee; not a don’t-bee”! True flashback.

  15. …and let us be naughty…what agreat quote! Thank you, Mary, and to all of you who sent in such wonderful comments. My insomniac eyes have enjoyed reading them all at…2 am this morninģ PST. Fred is gorgeous on the lovely sofa and he seems to be looking over to Mary and saying, what took you so long? Wishing you all a tail-wagginly great weekend!

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