Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Taming the Want Monster

"I have enough yarn...said no knitter ever."
"If someone tells you that you have too much yarn, stop talking to them. You don't need that kind of negativity in your life."
"The one who dies with the most yarn wins."

Many have you have probably seen things like this all over the Internet (substitute the key word of your choice: books, glitter, etc.). We are flooded with messages like this, right along with all of the reposts and shares for giveaways, contests, and sales. It is so easy to get sucked in, to - quite literally - buy into this "gotta have it" mentality. It reminds me of a book I used to read to my girls, The Berenstain Bears Get the Gimmies. 

When did this relentless pursuit of MORE start filling our lives? Probably it was always there, a natural part of human nature. But when it is out there in your face on all the social media sites, it really becomes overwhelming. Or at least, it does to me. I have been battling the want monster for a long time. Like with anything you practice regularly, it has been getting easier.

But I still have a way to go. In recent weeks I went through my yarn stash and uploaded it to Ravelry, a website for knitters, crocheters, spinners, and weavers. I was shocked when I clicked the "magic" button and discovered exactly how many miles - yes, miles - of yarn I have sitting in my house. The photo above, by the way, is only of all of the sock yarn left over from already-completed projects. I also have a whole heck of a lot of brand new skeins of yarn, and not just for socks.

But since the want monster still slips the chain now and then, on Christmas Day I found some really pretty sock yarn on sale and ordered three skeins. I was very happy and excited about getting them. Then yesterday, I got an email saying one of the colors, the one I liked the most, natually, was out of stock and had been discontinued by the yarn company. I was so outraged and disappointed! You'd think I had just been told that there was no more yarn anywhere in the world! That's when it hit me. The want monster was completely in charge again.

There is nothing all that special about that skein of yarn that warrants such an extreme reaction. What business do I have getting so unreasonably upset about something like this? Don't I already have more than enough sock yarn to knit socks, wrist warmers and hats for a whole year? Sock yarn that I just absolutely had to have, way back when? If I'm not happy with what I already have, why am I basing my happiness now on what I just bought? What is with this relentless pursuit of MORE? That path only leads to dissatisfaction and emptiness.

So I am pledging to myself to strive for LESS. Less stuff, less clutter, less outside pressure. I am "unliking", "unfollowing", and unsubscribing right and left, to free myself from the constant pressure to buy the latest thing. I am working to clear out the stuff in my house that doesn't make me happy, that I don't use, or haven't worn in more than a year. 

My word for 2015 is Simplify. I am really looking forward to it.


Angie- ALSO's Cakes, Pastries and More said...

Where might I find this "Magic" yarn mileage button? =)

Stefanie said...

Here, here. Your opening was funny and a definite attention grabber. I always want yarn, but remind myself it'll always be there and there's always something new coming out. I need to retake pictures of my yarn and organize it better somehow.