Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Trying to spend out

The problem with being a crafter is that you tend to accumulate supplies.  You decide to try a project, say, painted glass ornaments, and so you buy the paint in twenty different colors.  Then you make a bunch of painted ornaments and give them to your friends and family that year at Christmas.  You pack up your twenty bottles of paint, all of them still 3/4 full, and figure that you'll make more another time.  A few years later, you open a storage bin in the garage and find that half of those bottles of paint have dried into a solid mass, fit only for the trash can.

That is exactly what happened with me and my collection of Liquid Rainbow paints.  So I gathered up the ones that were still usable, and the boys and I had an ornament painting party a week into the new year.  It was gloppy, messy fun, and it was a novelty for them to do a project with me where I wasn't constantly saying, "Slow down there, you don't need to use a ton of it."
It's a sad truth, really, that in hoarding things you often lose the chance to enjoy them.  Remember when gel pens with milky inks first came out?  I bought a set, and I thought I should use them sparingly so that they wouldn't run out.  I took them out this summer, and what do you think?  Of course, they are mostly full and mostly non-functioning.
Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, talks about what she calls "spending out", using your good stuff now.  If you have a hoarding nature, like I do, it's worth the two minutes to watch her video, and then commit to spending out.  I think we might eat dinner tonight on our fine china, which is actually an incomplete dish set that I bought ages ago at a Goodwill. I take it out maybe once a year, because it's beautiful and I don't want to risk breaking it.
What are you waiting for?  Go use something!

1 comment:

  1. I'm right there with you. It is ridiculous the number of "special ingredients" or foods that have literally wasted away in my pantry because I was "saving" them for some point indeterminate special enough to justify their use.

    I loved those Milky Pens. Sometimes wish I still had some.