I had the thought last night before bed, "What if I loved every object I owned?" It was a loaded question. I realized that I own an awful lot of stuff that I don't even like, let alone love. Some things I love, but don't need at all. Some things I need, but wish were different or better somehow. How would a person even go about the task of making sure she loved every single object she owned or was surrounded with?
Lets start with clothes. Why would I bother to keep clothes I don't like? Why would I get them in the first place? Sometimes things I like at first turn out to not be comfortable, or don't fit, or wear out and start to become gross or broken. Are they worth repairing? When I don't have the cash to just replace things I don't like or that don't match everything else or give an effect I would enjoy - I can't give them up if they are still at least useful! The same goes for items gifted to me. Even if they don't fit, most of the time, I will try and make them work because I simply can't afford to change my wardrobe right now. But there are fortunately a lot of items that I really do love and enjoy wearing. Ones that I would even make an effort to repair if they got broken so I could keep them.
As for art (and even writing and computer) supplies? I have tons. And at least half of it is completely irrelevant to the way I work and how I would like to work in the future. I hold onto a lot of it because I fear not being able to afford supplies later on, so at least I would have something to work on, although it isn't preferred materials. It may be better to sell or gift the unwanted items, though, and clear out space. I mean, if I don't ever want to paint on a surface, or use a kind of paper, why keep it just to have it? It takes up space and could be useful and loved by someone else. I think there may be a fear in there about appearing to be less of an artist for not appreciating all of the art stuff I have, too. It keeps me holding on to objects I don't love and don't need and won't use. Time to stop that and get over myself already.
Then there are books. I actually am pretty good about not holding on to those too long. I read them. If I love them, I keep them and read them again. If I liked them but won't read them again, I pass them on. If I hate them, I sell them back or bring them to the book barn or offer them on freecycle. As I am packing up the house a bit with the idea of moving someday in mind, I should be a bit more honest with myself about a lot of the books, and reduce it down some more. Why move what isn't loved?
I feel like we have a lot of unused and unloved kitchen supplies. I love my little mugs and teacups, but not the plates and bowls of the same set. I love the bowls that I use everyday a lot. Everything else really doesn't matter too much to me. I wonder if one day Derek and I can consolidate it down to just the stuff we love and would actually use. Not the display crap that nobody cares about and doesn't use anyway - but the things we like to bake with, and plates we like to eat on, and the knives and utensils we use and love. Why have more than that? It takes up space. Blah.
I guess what has me on this reduction kick is the dawning idea that what isn't useful and isn't loved just clogs up my space and takes up my thoughts. I think it might be what feng shui is all about. Not just picking the right object or color for a space but realizing that everything about what surrounds us effects and reflects our being. It makes sense. Most of us are so caught up in thoughts and hardship and collecting objects that we don't notice the correlations between stuff and thoughts anyway. I suspect that the state of our stuff reflects a lot about us, though. I know it does for me, anyway.
I'll try and write more about this tomorrow. For now, I am just going to ponder on what my favorite objects are and why they are important to me. Also, if they are so important, why I seldom use them, or if they are important because I use them. (I think the things I would claim as the most important actually are barely to never used, whereas the ones I use most I just take for granted.) Interesting.