Simplify = Happy


It’s been going on now for about ten years in my life, this urge to simplify things in my life.  Mostly manifesting in the need to reduce “clutter” in my life… stuff… things that really don’t mean a whole lot in the scheme of things.  I’ve really had to work through a lot of well, I think unhappiness, that really made me cling to “things” as a sort of happy jump starter…  yet they always left me feeling a little, well, unhappy, and then I would seek out more, and there would be that temporary rush of “getting or finding” things but then later on, not so happy.

And then on the other side…  I would get interested in something, usually an art or a craft and instantly would want to gear up and get all the tools and gadgets and supplies to make the experience perfect…  all the while, doing it for a bit, then loosing interest.  Just a dumb pattern of things, I suppose.

Now, lately, I’ve been on the other side of the boat… the pare down, get rid of, simplify boat and I sure do love the cruise.  It’s taken me a few years to really get a grip on things, but I think I’m finally getting there.

I used to think I needed to whittle things down to just a set number, like 5 or 10.  But I couldn’t really come up with a good number.  And it just didn’t make good sense.  Why does it have to be a number?  I think more, it needs to be a combination, a selection palette that works for me.  Just enough to not feel overwhelmed, yet not enough to feel restricted.  We creative types can be a pain in the tush at times…  we just need lots of eye candy and stimulation to keep our creative juices flowing and we can be like mynah birds…  attracted to the bright and shiny and just always flitting about for a new bauble.

So I have finally come to the right “grouping” for me.  My main art focus shall be the textile arts.  That will include for me, weaving, wool rugs, fiber processing (spinning, dying), knitting and crochet, and some light quilting and sewing.  On the side will be watercolor and silk painting and photography since I do adore illustration work.  (And that does fit into my graphic art side)  And I will, of course, continue with the music, bluegrass primarily…  performing, songwriting and promotion.

I like it.   Perfect!

And so that means, all the rest has to go…  and it has been!    I boxed up all my soap making supplies and trotted them down to my friend Miss Julia’s.   She’s made soap with me before and seemed very interested in doing more.  She has a friend as well and they have been looking for something crafty to do and sell and I think they would be fantastic at it!  Don’t know if it will take, but I hope it does, if they want it to.  And I felt so incredibly relieved after doing that…

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed making soaps and every so often I would daydream about making it a big deal…  sold some, had a nice time with it.   But it just wasn’t MY thing.  That thing that I could get super excited about.  It was more something that I enjoyed a time or two, and wouldn’t mind helping out now and then, just to get my fingers wet… but I really don’t want to do all the time.   And it has been weighing heavily on my mind and to do cards!  Now, it’s gone.   Yeah!

I spent this afternoon with the girls helping me and I went through my fabric stash.  And I cleaned out a huge bag of stuff that I will never use in a million years, yet I’ve been carrying around, keeping just in case and have moved like 4 times!!!  AGH!   It’s gone and my gosh, I feel fantastic…

Maggie sorted all my magazines for me.  Gosh, I had just way too many, and most I will never want to look through again, but I just couldn’t part with them….  we bundled up several years of this and that for the free store and then grouped three into bundles that might sell on ebay, so that would be good.   But best of all, they are out of my stash!!

I finished my library and my office/paper work last week.   This week is the studio and arts and crafts…   got a few more little cabinets of things to sift through and make some hard decisions, but I really feel HAPPY about it…  making the change that makes sense.

Just more lightening the load…  physically and also emotionally!  Feels good…




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About Mobymom

the banjo player for Deepwater Bluegrass, and the editor of as well as the main graphic designer of the Westvon Publishing empire. She is a renaissance woman of many talents and has two lovely daughters and a rehab mobile home homestead to raise.


Simplify = Happy — 2 Comments

  1. This sounds like such a great idea.
    I feel like I have lots of irons in the fire. I don’t do as much as you in the homestead area…but gardening and chickens is enough. I like that you didn’t include those in your hobbies… you only listed those things that you do other than Homemaking-homesteading activities. The crafty sides to you already FULL plate.
    I tend to look at the whole picture, then deciding to pare down becomes overwhelming.
    I think you are wise to categorize the way you did; and it helped to simplify.
    I envy your weightlessness!

    • Well, I just got tired of wrestling with myself over just having a number of things I’m interested in. That didn’t make sense. Yet I tried and tried. Finally I said, let’s just focus on one “group” of things… the fiber arts… and then have a side dish or two… the illustration work and the music. The music is a different thing than the physical arts thing… it’s fleeting, yet highly enjoyable to me. However, it’s rarely something I can do all the time… sure I can pick a little by myself, but generally, it’s a group thing that I do once or twice a month.

      But the fiber stuff, well, I can pop in a weave a bit or knit or whatever, any time of the day or evening. It’s always there. And by lightening the load and getting rid of all the other stuff that was interesting but not really my thing, I can have more of the fiber stuff ready and waiting and space and time to do it.

      I just found myself worrying over what I should be doing and then not doing because I had too many choices and expectations and that was just dumb. By narrowing it down to a main entree, and two sides? It’s perfect!!! (gg)

      Yeah, the homesteading for the most part is more a way of life, than a real hobby. I mean we’re pretty much living the life that way… the garden, the animals and such… they have to be tended daily. FIber arts you can put away when it’s busy for a few days or a week… but a pig? Nope. And canning, cheese, stuff like that, it’s more one of those things that I have the time and the inclination and they match up for the day. I know enough that I would not want to can every day, or make cheese everyday. Or cook cookies or breads, etc. I wouldn’t want to make a business from it, I don’t enjoy it day to day. But I love to spend a free afternoon making cheese. That’s fun.

      I dunno if it’s hitting the big 50 this year, or a sense of life just kind of flitting away some days, but I really have the urge to create. And I want a clean palette to work from. I admire these folks that just have one thing they do creatively, and they do it with passion and drive. Me, I’m always so willy nilly all over the place, jack of all trades, master of none. I think I’d like to change that a bit. Jack of some trades, journeyman of some… haha….