Wednesday, August 20, 2014

When less is more (hint: always)

The idea that we should be grateful for what we have, rather than longing for what we want, is not new.  Human beings are wired to want things, and to go on wanting more.  I mean, who among us hasn't noticed how much warmer wool is than acrylic, and how much softer cashmere is than wool?  We need a reminder to be grateful we're not exposed to the cold entirely.

What amazes me though as I work to shed some of the excess at home is not just how endless the need for More can be, but how effectively acquisition can make our lives harder.

Think about it - imagine you moved to a house with three more bathrooms than you had before. Luxury! until you have to clean them (or pay somebody to do it).

The clothes that offer us just the right thing for every conceivable occasion clog up our closets and lengthen the time we need to figure out what to wear today.

The stylish new furniture and accent pieces for one room can require so much of the old to move - sometimes those old things are too important in itself to be sold or given away until they're in style again - that another entire room becomes unworkable in the storing of it.

Material things are loaded up with hope and opportunity, and rejecting the opportunity to own them, or not using them effectively once we have them, or - worst of all - giving them to somebody else who might benefit more from having them, can so easily add up into feelings of I Am A Failure. 

If you don't chase after those things in the first place you're spared a lot of that pressure, and you have less clutter to move through on your way to achieve the things your own wonderful qualities have fitted you for.

And if you focus on those wonderful qualities, pretty soon you'll notice that all the hope and opportunity you need is inside you already.  And that makes a simpler life a pretty attractive one, don't you think?

We all have so much more than we really need, don't we - especially the simple everyday things.  I'm always coming across magazine articles about how to declutter your makeup supply and thinking: how much do people need in the first place?  I mean, some of us are really into makeup to the point that it's a hobby and a joy.  But the rest of us?  What would happen if we dug out the products we use every day and tossed the rest and didn't replace them?  Maybe threw in a single different colour of eyeshadow for dressup and called it a day?  We'd save space, and we'd save time, and we'd save money too I bet.

What about picking just one colour of towels for all of those crazy bathrooms - and only having to do one load of laundry for them, no worries about a dark colour leaking onto a light one?

What about ditching the specialty pots and pans for making a meal you only do once or twice a year, and eating out on those nights instead?

What about investing in just a few good pairs of shoes to cover the eventualities of cold, heat, rain, walking, wedding?

What about catching up to our craft supplies so we're never more than a project or two behind?

(okay, maybe that's going too far.  let's try this again tomorrow, shall we?)

Fiber note:  the singles you just watched being spun are from a second braid of Twisted Fiber Art's 'maple' colourway.  also, they represent the last of my Twisted Fiber Art roving.  The very last bit!  And now I need to ply... and resist buying more till all of this is knit.  Direct me back to this post if I waver, okay?


Yvette said...

Wonderful post! Thank you.

Mary Keenan said...

And so timely! said mary, on a break from overhauling the office supply situation, sigh