I often joke that I am all about the power of “and.” No agonizing choices. Take a little bit of everything on the table and life is a veritable buffet of wonder and delight. Lately, however, I’ve been pondering the value of “or” that is to say, pondering the value of sacrifice. There is power inherent in committing to something so strongly that it doesn’t leave much room for other things and in making choices.
Yesterday I read this blog post and it really struck a chord. So much of what she says in this post (and the others in the same series) resonates with thoughts I’ve been having for several weeks.
I am realizing that in order to get something – the life I want, working as a full time artist and crafter, I will have to give something up. It’s a lovely idea; using my art to support myself and making the time and money to learn, take classes, work in my studio… but it is an idea that has a cost and dreams come dear. I do not think there is room on my plate for every dish at the banquet.
I first got this inkling when I began thinking about turning the dining room into a studio. See, when we first moved into Casa Fabulous, it was really important to me to have that room, that space for eating. All the china. I needed that. Then #1 Daughter moved out. I stopped cooking dinner every single night. Other life changes occurred, my circle of chosen family got smaller and I used the space even less. So now it’s a studio and I couldn’t be happier – but it came at a cost. I had to give stuff up – mostly internal, idea type stuff. Emotional stuff. It was liberating, but difficult. Right now my art table is filled with china that I need to box up for the Goodwill. It’s full because I have attached a lot of meaning to some of those things, even though they are rarely used, and it is hard to let them go.
That is a pretty tangible manifestation of how having too much “stuff” can get in the way of your dreams. I can’t make art till the china is off the table. I can’t make art if I’m filling my days with stuff that gets in the way of art. I can’t afford to live on my art if I am spending a lot of money on things and having to work a day job to support my habit of buying things.
It really comes down to this. What are you willing to sacrifice, to make your desires a reality? Because I think, realistically, there must be some winnowing out the chaff and getting to the heart of what is essential and true. I am coming to a place where I am seeing the transformative power of “or” as an incredible force for change; as an integral part of achieving one’s goals.
A lot of stuff has gone out the door in the last few weeks. Space, internal and external, is gradually opening up. I’ve been cleaning out blog feeds, limiting my time on Facebook and other social media. I’ve always tried to utilize my television time for spinning or knitting but lately I’ve been keeping the tv off entirely. I’m realizing that discipline is important. An internal locus of control.
Realizing my ideal life is surely worth it.