Sunday, January 12, 2014

{one thing I wish} the truth about simplicity

I think about things people said when I was young and growing up into the double digits and then on to full teenage years, when life looked like forever before me and the chance to do things and live a real life seemed forever before me.    

I think about comments like, life goes by so quickly, before you know it, you are old.  I thought how can that be possible.  A year is a long time and 70 of them is not like that is fast.  70 is a big number.  70 years would be a long life.

I heard people say, I don't have time for this or I don't have time for that.  I thought that that comment was strange because we all have time.  I felt people used it to get out of doing something, learning something, being something more than just a person going through day to day life without a plan.

I still think all those things are true.  Though obviously your perspective changes as you live life and you learn that a day in a life of a child vs the life of an adult is certainly different.  You learn that we don't always have time to do all we want to do even if we want to.  

The one thing I wished people had conveyed to me more in my learning was the benefits and blessings of simplicity of/in life.  

I believe there is a simplicity in learning to do something and learning to do it well that has significant benefits.  I am not sure it is better to learn to do everything. I am not sure it is better to just dabble here and there with your fingers in too many things and with too many options before you to choose from. I am not sure that it brings greater satisfaction but actually takes away from the benefit of a skill.  

For example, in home economic hobbies and studies, my mom stressed learning to do it all.  We were not permitted to have one hobby.  We (me and my sister) were introduced to crochet, knitting, cross-stitch, sewing, traditional hand embroidery, machine embroidery (with a sewing machine, not an embroidery machine) ribbon embroidery, smocking, finger painting, brush painting, colored pencil drawing, dried flower making, handmade card making, scrapbooking, cooking, baking, cake decorating, piano playing, singing, etc.

I never felt good at one thing.  I had to do a certain amount of time in three hobbies each winter according to mom.  I could not focus on one area lest I became proud of my abilities.  I was not allowed to spend too much time on one thing for supposed fear by my mom that I would get bored or burnout.  The number of things we were required to learn was extensive.  Though I think there are benefits to teaching people to do lots of things, I am not sure it has benefited me well in life. I now feel the requirement to do all these things.  I don't feel I can say that one hobby or craft is not for me and cut it out.  I now have a collection of tons of stuff because I feel that I need to do each of these hobbies and improve my skills.  I feel that I have to keep these things because I spent money and time on them.

I wonder what would have come from the simplicity of learning one thing and learning it extremely well.  I know that there are people who think that I do things, many things, really well.  I am not here to convince you otherwise. I am here to share how I feel.

For example, I love to knit.  What do you think would have happened if when I lived at home I could have bought all the knitting needles I have now in metal and wood and various sizes at that time?  What do you think would have happened if I had spent all the money on all these various crafts on one craft?  What do you think I would have done?  

I believe I would have perfected my skill.  I would have done more with my skill.  I would have studied my skill more than just learning to do the skill to master knowing how to do it.  I would have increased my learning to other depths of it than I have now, like motif knitting, multicolored knitting through intarsia knitting or fair isle knitting (yes I have done some of this but not very much) and indepth stitches.  

More thoughts on simplicity in tomorrow's post.

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