Winnowing

[This is a post from last summer that I just realized I didn't publish....]

I’ve been sort of turning the big blob of my life over and over again  in my mind, trying to work it into a nice bouncy dough, though it’s really more like a Katamari Damacy ball.

While on vacation, I had a smallish epiphany which kind of snowballed once I got home.

We took a train home from Seattle (which–man! totally recommend it–had no idea of the stunning wilderness you get to witness in Washington and Montana on the Empire Builder). It was an impulse decision–and I’m so seldom impulsive anymore that it was doubly fun. We had an overnight layover in Chicago and were lucky enough to spend it with our friends Grace & Anthony & their fetching daughter, Tigerlily. I was admiring the charming Spasmodica dolls Grace used to make, and we started talking about the pitfalls of making stuff to sell, and how it can turn your creative joy into kind of a grind. She said when she started complain about orders, Anthony teased her for just wanting to “play store.” And I realized that’s my downfall, too. I like making stuff, initially, and setting up a shop, but I’ve never been ambitious enough to be really successful (at anything, really), so I never rise above the level competence that allows you to do okay, but never really become a rock star.

That, and I have the curse of the dilettante. I’m pretty good at way too many things, so I can never just pick one and focus on it enough to achieve mastery. Instead, I putter around in my unfocused way and feel peevish, and envious of my more focused brethren.

But anyway, this has been my story (fractured enthusiasm without ambition or focus, dilettantism) for a long time. Why does it suddenly bother me more than usual?

It turns out babies take forever.

Luckily, it’s a good forever, and I’m hooked and madly in love. But the giant time suck that is motherhood made me realize there are things I don’t wanna do any more. Like play store.

To that end, I’m going to quit having my little half-ass shop. I’ll still sell equipment and maybe Yarn School related supplies (or maybe not), and of course, the fiber from my own critters, but everything else, I’m getting rid of.  I hope I can make up that wedge of lost income by having more time to focus on the venue part of our operation, which is way more fun, anyway (you know, except for the vast oceans of laundry and dirty dishes it generates).

The bonus is that I love quitting. Quitting was my favorite part of working, and a luxury not often afforded to the self-employed.

I’m looking forward to more quitting and more winnowing in the near future. I really want to quit facebook for good and all, thought I love Scrabble too much to ditch it entirely. I’ve got a ridiculous stash of yarn I need to give a hard stare. I’ve got a whole storage room of crap, much of it leftover from my ebay days. I have supplies for a dozen hobbies that are not really for me. I have too much food in my freezer. I have so many clothes that no longer fit me. I have too. Much. Fucking. Stuff. Period. It all pulls me down like a giant squid. I wish to be rid of a good deal of it.

And then maybe, unfettered by the clinging vines of my excess possessions, excess occupations, excess hobbies, I can turn my mind’s eye again to that big, gooey blob, and give it a chance to rise.

  • patty says:

    If I may say, have sale and get rid of anything that no longer brings you joy. Have a yarn sale, or have friends over who covet your stuff and either give it to them or ask them for money. If you are really friendly with your yarn store ask about a day where everyone brings in yarn they no longer want and do a big trade. Give the yarn store operator either a portion of the profits, or donate a portion to a worthy cause.

    I would love to start quilting but, it means getting a sewing machine, a table, fiber etc. and I am just not sure what to do with the quilts once done. They are just so beautiful.

  • Rose Kelly says:

    Whatever else you give up, don’t stop writing! Glad to see you are back, however briefly….

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