Today was a good day, defined as “a day in which I have time to pursue two hobbies and still get to bed on time”. I wound off some of my dye samples, and got about 1/3 done threading my loom. Over the weekend I plan to finish threading the loom and finish my half-finished batch of dye samples, and possibly (?) start a second batch. I have four days, after all. (Luxury!!)
Mike has been meditating on “too much stuff”, helped along by this excellent essay by Paul Graham. I am pretty much in total agreement with Mr. Graham, and have written a couple of essays/posts to mailing lists on the same topic. That does not, however, mean that I don’t struggle with it myself. As a creative person, I tend to accumulate stash at a rapid pace, usually more than I’m going to use in finite time. Then I wind up giving it away. This seems like a waste of time, attention, and money.
One thing Paul Graham doesn’t address in his essay is the boredom factor. I’ve always seen stash as akin to food; the same instinct that urges us to overeat (hoard energy) impels us to overbuy (hoard stuff). A certain amount of stuff, like a certain amount of fat, is healthy. Too much, and it starts weighing you down.
But what, you say, does this have to do with boredom? Well, it’s very simple. If you’re sitting all day in front of a computer, and you’re bored, and there’s lots of yummy food right nearby in the kitchen, you’ll probably wind up eating more than you should, just to break up the day. Similarly, if you’re sitting all day in front of a computer and you need a short break, one of the more interesting ways of doing it (at least if you’re me) is surfing eBay and other sites. Of course, that means you’re engaging in boredom shopping, which is just about as bad as boredom eating.
I’m currently puzzling over how to get past boredom shopping. Clearly, I need something else to do for entertainment, if I’m going to stop getting “fat” on stash (and my stash is slightly over its size limit already). Just as clearly, it needs to be something fiber- or hobby-related. But what I don’t yet know.
One thing is clear, though: I have GOT to stop buying yarn!!