The Flipside of Choice

One of the permaculture design principles is “stocking”: knowing what you have and where it is stored.

I have a problem with this in certain categories, especially sewing supplies and craft supplies. Just now I was looking for a tape measure. For decades, I had one tape measure, and it was easy to find in my little sewing kit.

Now, having inherited the sewing supplies of several generations of women, I have multiple big shiny plastic boxes of needles, threads, and other supplies. And it took me several minutes to find a tape measure even though I’ve got like four of them.

Having more boxes of supplies, I’ve noticed, doesn’t seem to translate into me doing more projects.

I noticed that same thing with drawing supplies too. My first series of mini drawings, for my first show, back in 2011, was done with a set of 12 old, somewhat beat-up colored pencils and one fountain pen.

Subsequently, after acquiring a massive box of 100 colored pencils, I often found myself struggling to find the color I was looking for. I haven’t produced drawings at a higher rate since getting that big box of pencils than I did before I got them.

Reminds me of when I traveled to England in the late 1980s. At that time, they had four TV channels in England. People would tell me they were jealous because we in the USA had 50 or 90 channels or whatever. “Don’t be jealous,” I told them. “Even with 90 channels there’s usually nothing on!”