Here in the US we live in a society of choices. No matter what you want to do your options are many and we’re told that this is a benefit. After all, who doesn’t love the ability to choose?
As I go through my too many things I realize that this is how I’ve been living my life as well. I want to be able to choose what crafty thing I want to do. I want to get the best, most perfect equipment to do whatever thing I want to do. And all of that adds up to a lot of stuff.
But the reality is that choices have a big drawback… time. It takes time to make a choice. It takes time to research options to find the best possible widget for the job. And it of course takes time to make the money to buy that best possible widget.
And this was my experience with quilting. Of course I need a rolling cutter… isn’t that how quilters cut stuff? And the pad for cutting. And the other wheels for cutting. And the (insert endless lists of things here)…
But the reality is that as I invest in more choices I have to learn how to use these things. And I have to burn time figuring out which thing is the best thing. And while society does indeed teach us to have the right tool for the job, people have been using the “wrong” tool for many years.
My choices have actually made me less likely to complete a new undertaking because each step requires more work. Turns out scissors cut fabric just fine for a beginning quilter. I don’t need more stuff to do it, certainly not when I’ve yet to decide if I actually like doing this type of project.
The same choice options become problematic with other things as well. Why do I need 20+ pairs of pants? Is it because I want to spend a lot of time each morning deciding what to wear? As anyone who knows me will tell you, no, rather obviously I don’t want to spend time doing that. So then here I am with clothes I never wear that take up space, make it harder to organize the stuff I have and costing me money for things I don’t actually use.
While I’m not suggesting that I live in one pair of pants (though that’s usually what I do anyway most of the time) questioning my “need” for options and choices certainly has me thinking about how I spend my time and money. If I’m not using it why do I have it? And more importantly, can I stop myself from buying more of these things so I have choices I don’t want to make anyway?
Options are great when the return on your time invested to make them pays off but making due with a less than optimal item is both a time and money saver. The real trick is that by making due you eventually figure out if having another option is worth it and and at that point sifting through the options is easier because you know what you need and want. From this point forward I will make due with the things I have until such a point that I know WHY and WHAT I’d actually like to make a task easier and I’ll wait and examine if that new choice, that new thing, is actually worth the effort.
Picture by Jim Davies