December 8, 2014


I have a confession to make. I loathe the retail establishment. Everything about it. Especially the incessant marketing, ramped up to insanity inducing levels this time of year, that pressures us to consume, consume, consume.  I do my best to ignore any and all advertisements (which isn't all that hard since I don't watch television, listen only to public radio [because I can't stand the djs and commercials on regular radio], and have perfected the art of ignoring all forms of obnoxiousness that compete for my attention [I thank decades of employment in food service for honing this survival skill].)

Because I loathe retail and anything that tries to do my thinking and decision making for me (which is an entirely other huge can of worms I'll spare you for the moment), I rebel. I refuse to play their game. Which perhaps isn't the wisest course of action for someone whose goal is to make a living peddling handmade wares. This little, oh what shall we call it, quirk of mine deserves exploration, but for now suffice it to say the odd bird ornaments are not in the shop nor will they be in the shop before January.

The past weekend, instead of preparing Etsy listings, the very notion of which made my shoulders tense up to my ears, I focused on eradicating the immediate source of that tension. In this case it was the mounds of papers cluttering my studio / office. Working on Etsy listings would have entailed sitting for hours amongst the clutter, with me growing more and more agitated by the chaos. So, as I thought might just happen, I let the notion of being a good retailer go out the window and got busy excavating my desk.
By Sunday night I sorted the heaps of papers into one manageable in-box of items to be filed, a box of items to be shredded, a box of recycling, and a box of papers for collage. Also by Sunday night I was feeling a bit brain dead, depleted by too much decision making. So I sat in front of the fire with my box of recycling and a 3 inch round paper punch. My expired auto insurance policy yielded the highest number of blank circles. The circles are now squirreled away neatly, waiting for me to find the material I need to make them into something useful.

Conquering the paper clutter in my office, and the relief I feel from having done so, brings us nicely back to the kitchen table. This clear expanse of inviting table is normally cluttered with all sorts of random items. It had become the default dumping ground upon entering the house. On Thanksgiving, the Hubs and I cleared it off as to have somewhere pleasant to enjoy our feast. 
Right then, as the table was set, I laid down the law. This table will stay clutter-free through Christmas. (And forevermore, I hope. But it's easier to commit to short-term goals.)

It may seem like a little thing, a clear table. And it is. But it is also an oasis of calm amongst our ongoing, in-process, long-term house renovations. It has become the place to rest, relax, and recharge as well as escape from the retail frenzy that blemishes this time of year. 

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