Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Stuff That Stuff Is Made Of

I love boxes and bags. Really doesn't matter what sort of box or bag it is, of course the cuter or fancier or clever all the better.  I design handbags and have tons of bag patterns and ideas.  I also have patterns and ideas for making cute boxes. I'm not alone here.  I've met several women with the same interest.  Boxes and bags help me store stuff or carry stuff and if the box or bag is cute or clever, then I'm storing and stuffing in a cute and clever way.
Last week I was shopping at Grocery Outlet store.  In their cheese display, they had Cracker Barrel Brand Cheese for a great price.  I like the taste of this cheese, and the price was super good for two pounds.  The real deal was that the cheese came packaged in a wooden box with a slide lid.  My heart danced and jumped.  How cool is this I kept asking myself as I slid the lid back and forth.  I purchased two bricks of cheese, with their oh so cool boxes, and went home a happy girl.  I really didn't know what I'd do with these oh so cool boxes, I just knew they screamed "creative project!"
Later in the week, I was at Home Depot.  I passed a shelf with miss mixed paint. (I love that shelf.)  For a $1.00 there was a small can of this great color paint.  I thought of my boxes at home.  I knew this paint and those boxes were meant to be together.
As I was painting coat after coat of paint on these boxes, I kept thinking. "What in the world am I going to use these boxes for?"  I thought of all the bags and boxes I have in my life right now.  Many of them are stuffed to the brim with stuff.  (It's time for a major clearing at my house, but that's another time and challenge.)  Also, as I was painting I thought of my mother-in-law Betty and my brother-in-law Douglas. Betty was a crafter and decorator (she would have loved these boxes), I remember going to her house and she had lacquer boxes and jars around her house.  They were all empty.  Douglas was an avid collector, who loved antiques.  Before he past away, several years ago, he sent me a ceramic jar with an label on it that read. "Mysteries."  It was empty as well. I asked Douglas about this, he chuckled and said. "Don't you think it's as it should be?" Not wanting to appear stupid, I agreed with him, like I knew what was going on. The jar and a couple of boxes sit on my book case empty, and I've never felt the need to stuff them full of stuff.
I asked myself, why do I feel the need to stuff every open space in my life with stuff.  Either physical stuff, emotional stuff, activity stuff or just plain stuff?  At the time it seems right to stuff stuff with stuff.  And yet it eats up a lot of time, demands my attention, sometimes overwhelms me, and I get depressed or sad.  Learning to be content and happy with the empty space, be it an a box or bag, an un-cluttered room, a conversation, a day with no activities,or my mind, takes some focus and is a real trick for me.  I am starting to see the value in the empty space. When a space is empty, I get the opportunity for the space to fill its self naturally.  I'm allowing and attracting what is best for me and my life.  It's not forced. It is what is suppose to be there.  Makes life a lot more free, fun and easy.  That all said, it's also a challenge.  The stuffing of stuff into stuff gives me a sense I have control over stuff.  I've learned over the years that control is really an illusion. I can deal with stuff, but I can't control stuff.  Even the stuff I think I can control.  Vicious circle here. Real crazy making.  As I added the designs, I edited myself not to totally cover the boxes with designs.  It's an empty space, right?  So, fill it up.  I purposely stopped at the tops.  I'm still thinking. "I want to paint designs all over the sides and insides. More is so more!"  I'll stop for now.
I also know, my stuffing behavior is strongly ingrained.  It's a step at a time and realization at a time.  
Will my cheese boxes remain empty?  I can't say. Perhaps for the time being.  I will let them "speak" to me as to what they want to be used for.  Keeping in mind to not stuff them to the brim.  Maybe they will be someone's "mystery" box?
That's a whole lot of value for me from a cheese box that was on sale.
Are you a "stuffer"?  Do you feel the need to fill the empty spaces in your life?  How good are you at allowing the empty spaces to just be?  I'd love to hear your thoughts and ideas.

Until next week...create to feel great!
44 projects complete!  8 to go!  (Really? 8!)

No comments:

Post a Comment