I can't remember when the exchange happened, but at some point last year I was discussing my fabric stash. I think it might have been on Flickr. I wish I recalled the details as I am indebted to someone for their poignant comment. The conversation began with my mention of my fabric collection being small to which there was a thought provoking reply. 'Yes, but it is well-curated.'
That's when the notion of curate really hit home with me. I've already been making thoughtful choices in my fabric shopping. And I've been making thoughtful choices as I
Was it possible to employ the same notion to curate other aspects of my life? I've been reflecting on that idea.
You don't need to have it all.
There is a vintage emporium down the road. It's full of all sorts of bits and bobs that I'd love to have in my home. Each time I pass, there's a little temptation to bring home the retro can openers and rotary dial phones. Like the ACME road signs from that Wile E. Coyote, temptation is ready to drive you off that cliff.
I don't have the space or budget for everything that I'd like to own. I've learned to be selective - to curate - what I buy. One of the ways I cope with temptation are virtual collections. For years, I've downloaded images that I liked and sorted them into folders full of graphic design reference or beautiful things. An easier approach these days is Pinterest. When you see a gorgeous can opener at the antique shop, bring home those memories and build yourself a virtual collection. It is an easy way to own something special. I've got plenty of them.
Try before you buy, when you can. Borrow a template from a friend, check a book out from the library. See if you'll love if before putting in on your shelves. Be picky. Be happy.
You aren't deprived.
Being well-curated does not mean you have to do without. In fact, the opposite can be true. Buying less junk, less often means you have more money for something special. Directing your time away from tedious pursuits frees you up for things you love.
Too often, we find ourselves on a binge and purge wagon. Buy. Buy. Buy. Get a sick feeling from being overwhelmed with too much. Purge. Purge. Purge. One thing I've noticed while reading blogs is that a common culprit in binge and purge syndrome are sales. Half-price fabric that you don't love is still fabric that you don't love. Some people try to avoid this cycle by going cold turkey or only allowing themselves utilitarian purchases. For me, that simply compounds the problem.
Be an expert.
Curators carefully select things based on professional knowledge. Who knows you better than you know yourself? You are the best expert on what will bring you both immediate gratification and long term joy. Know yourself - your hobbies, your interests, your favorite patterns. Make expert choices about your life, you're the best person for the job.
Less can be more.
Whether it is in my stash or in my blog reader, too much can be overwhelming. Often I find more joy in less. Less makes me more appreciative. Hold onto that feeling.
Manage your time.
Time is my most limited resource. Money can be earned. Things can be replaced. Of all the aspects of my life, my time and energy is most in need of management. For me, that means deciding what is important and, by extension, deciding who is important in my life. Focus your energies where it counts. Make the most of your time. Choose the right opportunities. Pick projects that you're passionate about. Cull tardy people from your life, they waste your time. Live purposefully.
I'm not sure how I'll go in 2013, but I'm really excited about the possibilities. I'm excited about my new mantra. I'm planning to curate my life in 2013. What are you hoping to get up to?