Cutting Back: Thoughts on Minimalism

I am highly intrigued with the Minimalist movement and consider myself a minimalist in theory if not in practice.  I have moved into a smaller house and in the process, removed small knick-knacks and other things that really hold no value. In that vein, I am continuously looking for ways to cut back or ‘declutter’ my life.  Whittle down my many hobbies and interests and focus on just a few.

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So, for some time now, I have been strongly considering packing up and selling all of my sewing equipment. The reason  behind this decision is that I simply have overextended myself. I not only work full-time and have a child full time but, I have other interests that I want to enjoy. I am no longer really wanting to take the time or energy or resources to sew.

I think perhaps a lot of my interest in sewing is habit.  I have been sewing for so long that it is habit that I buy the pretty fabric I see or  buy that new pattern I read about on the web.  So, I go out and buy the fabric, buy the pattern, and stash it in my drawers along with all my other fabric and patterns.

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Yet, when all is said and done,  all I really do is collect sewing stuff. I very rarely sew. Oh, sure, I measure the pattern out and cut the fabric but then the project sits on my sewing desk for months before I decide there’s a different pattern I want to sew up.  Or, when I do finally get my sewing Mojo going, I tend to sew one thing and then put it away again for the next 6 to 8 months. In addition, I realized that when I sew, all I do is sit in a room by myself. I interact with no one.

Granted, I have the right to do this but I am spending money on a hobby that I do not practice on a regular basis. In some sense it is rather zen to work on a sewing project alone, with no distractions.  But, I would much rather spend my money on other things that I enjoy more frequently such as dinner at one of the Temecula wineries.  The space and resources I use for sewing would be much better used with workout equipment,  Or – here’s a thought – how about having some open space in my house!

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And all this comes down to the minimalism part of the story. I am wanting to focus on minimizing the distractions in my life so that I can enjoy my life. I am a big believer in the idea that things, possessions,  and hobbies, while enjoyable, are distractions from family, experiences, and really living. I think I will keep my machines and general sewing tools – maybe a pattern or two.  After all, it is handy to know sewing and to be able to repair the odd hem or seam tear.  But, the bulk of it, and my sewing life in general, will diminish.

So in essence, giving up my sewing is really just making room for living. It is making room for my son,  my husband, and for  doing the things that I want to do. I could be out hiking with my family, riding bikes, going to the beach, going to Disneyland, having lunch at one of the local wineries and enjoying their beautiful views and gardens. Or going to one of the many museums that Southern California offers. So, I believe that it is time to do away with old hobbies and habits and remove the sewing from my world.

Have you ever put down a hobby (habit) that you liked in favor of more time?  What were your experiences?  I’d really like to know.

Have a great day!

 

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