Almost 20 years ago, when I returned home after an extended time in Ukraine, I remember gawking at a grocery store aisle full of butter. My friend and I counted 50 varieties. I'm pretty sure salted butter hadn't even made it's way to Ukraine that year, so suddenly having 49 other options proved more than overwhelming.
We walked out of the store without any butter, slightly dizzy.
Grocery stores are not the only places that make me dizzy. I've mentioned before my need to declutter craft supplies.
This week, I dove into the scrapbook heap, determined to catch up on a backlog of ideas and photos. (A friend of mine referred to it as 'nesting'... yes... that must be it!) Whenever I had a spare moment, I'd sit on the floor and craft away.
I had quite a successful week.
However, when it was all said and done, and I finally got around to cleaning up the mess (I desperately needed to vacuum), I went through the stuff that I had and got rid of a bunch of it. (No dear reader, I didn't throw out perfectly good craft stuff... I'll donate it to a thrift store.)
While I was crafting I realized that having too much to choose from sometimes stumped my own creativity. Or I couldn't find what I was looking for, because frankly, the pile of paper was too BIG.
The Sailor has a thing for excess. He never minds me shopping or buying things... as long as it's not in excess. You can imagine then that he occasionally found my craft stash overwhelming. Happily, I've decluttered a LOT of it, especially the yarn.
I often hear stories about people stashing their yarn in closets, under the sofa, in between the sofa cushions -- you get the picture. While I admire their tenacity at storing the stuff, I sometimes wonder how can they remember what they have? And doesn't there come a point where they don't want to use any of what they have (because they have too many choices!) and they end up buying even more?
A lot of this applies to every day life as well... buying too many clothes can mean you can't make a decision on what to wear because you have too many choices. Buying too much food at one time means that some of it eventually spoils before you can eat it. Even taking out too many library books at one time and then only reading half of one before they are all due is living in excess. (I'm totally guilty of that latter one!)
One of the most amazing pieces of art I've ever seen in my life was by a little girl from Belorussia. She created an incredible scene with a horse, using only twigs and bark and things found in nature. All the gel pens in the world couldn't have come up with something so neat. Seeing that picture made me reassess my own excess.
Did I finish EVERYTHING I wanted to scrapbook? Um, no. But the next time I pull out the supplies, you can bet that I'll have less to choose from... and I'm pretty sure I'll be more creative and efficient as a result.