Sunday, October 13, 2013

That having been said...

I love ablative absolutes, don't you?

So no sooner had I finally blogged about the soul-destroying pile of crap beside my bed which I was climbing over every evening than something changed. We were watching a tv programme today about a compulsive hoarder, and my boyfriend gave me A Look. I protested that I was not a hoarder but as the programme continued, I found it harder to argue this point. I also find it hard to throw things away, even broken and unusable things, because I feel they have an inherent value and deserve a better fate. I hoard very little now, but the idea that this practice is just the tip of a potentially life-damaging iceberg is rather terrifying.

I'm wondering whether I need to come to terms with the idea that, in the process of simplifying my life, I just have to accept that some of the things I have accumulated to this point cannot be a part of my journey going forward. Eventually I will reach a point where I don't have any 'superfluous' clothes which I am torn between keeping, donating and cutting up for crafts. I will reach a point where every used item of clothing can be 'processed' for rags and reusable fabric. At the moment, I just have too much. An example: I have some off-cuts from the curtain lining. It's too small to be used for more curtains, and even if it were, I have no more lined curtains to make. I've been keeping them with the idea of using them as backing for a crocheted rag rug or something like that. But I also have several lengths of beautiful new fabric just waiting to be used, some Vogue patterns waiting to bring a new dress to life, and a wardrobe desperately in need of rejuvenating. Why don't I give up on odds of blackout lining and focus instead on these other projects?

I'm also realising that by perhaps overcomplicating my project list - by intending to do everything from scratch from the beginning - I'm disincentivising the smaller projects that I could more realistically achieve with the time available to me after my long days, and the rule I have somehow developed of throwing nothing away is more hindering than helping my creativity. There's nothing wrong with small steps - in fact, I am reminded of my colleague's reminder that when starting a new job, you need the humility to accept that you will make mistakes during the learning process, and that you have to give yourself time.

So today the space by my bed is clear. A lot of the mess has just been moved around - the clothes back to the wardrobe, the spare fabric into a box - but I've put some things on a 'to donate' pile. (Now I just need the steel resolve and ruthlessness to actually donate them, instead of rescuing things.)

Either way, I think I will sleep better tonight for having a less stuff to navigate.

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