It’s day five of Blogvember. I’m following the prompts from Andrew Canion, which can be found here.
Over the course of recent efforts to tidy my life, it’s come to my attention that I’m a bit of a completionist by nature. By this, I mean that when things are interesting to me, I can easily become ensconced with a certain idea, book series or other, or hobby.
For example, hearing an interview with Jon Ronson about his book, So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, lead me to not only buy that book, but multiple others of his as well. Of the three books, I have read two of them. The third is on my shelf waiting its turn to be read.
When it comes to music, I’m an album fan, through and through. Shuffling music is fine at times, but I like hearing how artists compile their music, and the intention with which they place them in order. There’s a predictive quality to enjoy as the album becomes familiar, but there’s also the sense of juxtaposition. (A similar and equally compelling argument about the juxtaposition of shuffling songs on an album, or from multiple artists and albums, can also be made. I just happen to favor albums as they’re presented to me.)
For hobbies, I find myself occasionally dabbing in one thing or another. I occasionally like to paint and draw, but there’s a side of me that wants all the materials I see used by artists I admire. I’ve gotten a few kits but for whatever reason, it doesn’t click for me. (A likely thought is that I have no real art background, and as a visual learner, often like to mimic what I observe elsewhere. This leads me to want to have a certain amount of the “right” materials to work with before starting, which in my head I know is nonsense, but that feeling persists all the same.)
A fellow music fan loved and recommended a certain set of speakers (dedicated monitors) for music. He listened to music a certain way, and knowing as little as I did about music production (he was much more savvy than I), I saved up for them and then got a pair. They sounded… fine, to my ears. They were medium sized speakers, which were large on my desk, and could get far louder than I was ever comfortable with or needed. I used them for a few years before accepting that they were much more powerful than I needed. I sold them and bought a smaller set which sounds perfectly fine for my listening enjoyment.
The older I get, the more I learn about what I value. But more importantly, I learn to enjoy what I enjoy, and care less about what others have to say on the subject.
I get to know myself better each year, and sometimes that means accepting aspects of my nature, while other times it means taking steps to improve. Over the last year or two, I’ve focused on enjoying what I have, and bringing in new things only when I know they’ll be used, read, or enjoyed in short order. This means reading the books I have before getting new. In many cases, it’s meant borrowing books from the library instead of purchasing them. This necessarily requires me to read it promptly, so that I can finish it before it needs to be returned.
It’s also meant that I accumulate less, and can enjoy what I have more.