I have a friend who hates to use anything up.
She hangs onto remnants of certain items for years: sheets of scrapbooking stickers, favorite bottles of lotion or body wash, scented candles. When I helped her move a few years ago, my other girlfriends and I nearly had to stage an intervention to convince her to throw away some of that 90-percent-used stuff. It wasn’t that she’d never used it: rather, she enjoyed it so much she was terrified of running out. She perceives a kind of scarcity in the world, at least of these small, often limited-edition luxuries.
I don’t hang onto odds and ends with quite the same tenacity. But I do sometimes freak out if I perceive a scarcity of something I use frequently, which is not easily replaceable. Most recently, it involved journals.
Toward the end of August, I had nearly filled up the Compendium journal I’d found at the Booksmith and realized I needed to begin nosing around for a new one. When I did, I had trouble finding just the right one, which I define as medium weight, lined paper, softcover (the hardback ones are bulky), about 6″x8″ (those pocket ones are cute, but they don’t last me long), with a charming-but-not-twee cover. (My arbitrary list of qualities, of course, created the perceived scarcity in the first place.)
Coming up empty, I signed onto the Compendium website and ordered five journals, reasoning that I would thus be stocked for several months, and I would save on shipping if I ordered them together. (Compendium did not sponsor this post. They don’t know about me, or how panicked I can get when I think I might be running out of journal space.)
Although I still had a bit of room in my current journal, I then panicked that the new stack might not arrive before I took off for Texas to attend my high school reunion. So I did the only sensible thing: I went to Paper Source one more time, and scored a three-pack of lined notebooks from Rifle Paper Co.
Of course, the journals from Compendium arrived right before I left town. I had eight journals to choose from.
Ridiculous, no? I laughed at myself, and then reminded myself to be grateful that I even have this problem. A stack of eight gorgeous journals is a true embarrassment of riches. (I am, fittingly, embarrassed to be telling you this story.)
I have since filled up one of the Rifle Paper Co. notebooks and am happily scribbling away in one of the Compendium journals (sprinkled with travel-related quotes). The stack of spare journals waits in my desk drawer, a comforting promise of abundance, and also a reminder not to take myself quite so seriously.
What about you? Do you use things up or hang onto them? Do you panic when you’re running out of (or about to be running out of) something you love? And do you tend to see the world as a place of abundance or scarcity? I’m especially curious about this last one.