I think in a previous post I may have made some kind of grandiose statement to the effect that there is nothing I regret having thrown out in our attempts to downsize and restructure the way we live. I believe I may have implied, or perhaps directly stated, that I’m actually happy I have rid myself of all the many truckloads of stuff that now languishes somewhere in the thrift shops of the world. I would like to amend that statement now. That statement is not precisely true. In fact, just today I realized I had thrown out something that I really wish I had kept because, as I feared, I now want to use it. Isn’t there some kind of saying to the effect that the moment one gets rid of something, one needs it?
What is this very important item, the intrigued reader wonders? Why, it’s a completely unopened aqua blue mosquito netting, made to drape over a bed. It’s not a high quality one, but I bought it because I found it for less than 3$, loved the color, and I figured someday I would either use it, or would give it as a gift. What it represents to me now is yards and yards of gauzy fabric in a perfect shade of aquamarine.
The problem is that I craft. It’s not a constant problem, I don’t always make things, but occasionally I get a wild hair and begin working with different materials in a creative sort of way. In the past I have worked with fabric, photography, mosaic, and cement. I’ve made some pretty nifty things with those materials, and always I have had to spend some time gearing up by learning about the materials and what they will do together, etc. In other words, I play with them; sometimes lots of them. I have to learn what the materials will do before I can make them do what I want.
And that’s the space I’m in now, and that’s why I save so many things. I never know what I might do with them. I never know when the urge is going to strike, the artist’s muse can strike at any time, unpredictably. I like to be prepared. And it’s hard to be prepared when you don’t exactly know what you will need!
Just before the storm, it struck me that when we begin living on a boat and cruising around, I really have nothing to offer others that’s worth much in terms of selling or bartering for goods or services. I mean, Mike can fix anything electrical or computer oriented. He’s also pretty good at engines. He’s a guy’s guy when it comes to those kinds of things. In his career he started out in electronics and ended up writing computer applications. He’s all over that stuff.
I, on the other hand, am a psychotherapist. I can tell you right now that I am NOT going to be offering those services to other cruisers. Those days will be gone by the time we get to cast off. Cruisers who need therapy will be referred to the local village shaman. So I need something else to offer. What do I actually enjoy doing that might be worth something to others? And is there something I could even sell through this website that might make a little money for the cruising kitty? And I came up with a nice little idea that involves making certain things with wool felt.
So now I’m fully invested in the development of this idea and I’m excited to play with all the pretty colors of wool roving. I want to use the wool roving with different fabrics to see what works for this idea, so I NEED that mosquito netting now and it is long gone. Frankly, I was just about fit to be tied when I remembered that not only would it be perfect for the experimenting I want to do, but it is even the right color and there would have been plenty of it, giving me a good supply to work with if my idea bore fruit. My knickers are really in a twist about it. It’s not that I cannot find more, it’s that I already had it once and it feels like a considerable waste of resources to go out and find/buy more.
Now when I face getting rid of more stuff I’m going to do so with a little fear and loathing because I would much rather use things I already own than try to go find them again. This is the same argument that allows me to keep things that I currently have no use for, which completely flies in the face of the ‘purging’ mentality. And the ‘if you ‘ve had it for more than one year and haven’t used it…’ rule does not apply here. Frankly, that rule just never applies to craft supplies. But who knows what will become material for crafting? You can never tell. I had that mosquito netting for at least 2 years. Come to think of it, there’s a sarong I wish I had kept, and a couple of silk scarves as well.
Rats. It’s going to take me some time to untwist my knickers over this.